The Def Jam Records co-founder was feted for his work with musicians including Kanye West, Adele, Lady Gaga, and Eminem, with the President's Merit Award from the Recording Academy at the 9th Annual Grammy Week Event in Los Angeles.

However, Rubin, who dressed in shorts, a hooded jacket and patterned moccasin-style shoes, remained seated in the audience, and Recording Academy President Neil Portnow come off the stage to present him with the prize at his chair, according to the Associated Press.

Producer-songwriter Jimmy Jam said in a tribute, "The way hip-hop is now owes everything to Def Jam and to this gentleman here tonight," and explained Rubin's behaviour, saying, "Rick says he's shy."

Rubin posed for pictures but did not publicly speak at the ceremony, which took place days ahead of the Grammys on Monday (15Feb16).

British rapper/poet Kate Tempest and Canadian singer Colter Wall performed, while guests included Lana del Rey, Josh Groban, and MACy Gray.