The widow of the late Beatles legend was handed a Lifetime Achievement gong - her first ever music award - at the MOJO Honours List in London last night (11.06.09) and praised organisers for their "courageous" decision.
She said: "I think it's a great honour, I am just overjoyed. It's really great that I went on stage and people were very warm towards me, I didn't expect that.
"For the longest time, I never expect people to be so warm when I get on stage."
Asked what John would have thought of her accolade, she replied: "He would have said, 'I told you so, man.' He was the only person who was really believing and promoting my work. Without that I might have been pretty discouraged."
He told BANG Showbiz: "It feels pretty nice, but it makes me feel old too, everything's making me feel old at the moment - awards, my back, my hair - I look like Farrah Fawcett-Majors!
"I don't think bands now have been around long enough to prove themselves yet, it takes a while to earn your pedigree."
Elbow - who have triumphed at the Nationwide Mercury Prize, Brit Awards and Ivor Novello Awards - picked up yet another prize, taking home Song of the Year for 'One Day Like This', but keyboardist Richard Potter was less-than-pleased after suffering a cut on his hand.
He joked: "The award is evidence from a major crime. I'm quite upset about it. We were excited about meeting John Cale, our hero, and all of a sudden I realised I had a cut on my hand from the award. I'm going to sue."
Other winners at the event included White Lies, who were named Best Breakthrough Act, Paul Weller, who won Best Album for '22 Dreams', and Fleet Foxes - who beat off stiff competition from musical heavyweights Leonard Cohen and Radiohead to take home Best Live Act.
Reformed Britpop stars Blur were given the Inspiration Award, Joe Brown was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to British Music and former The Smiths and Electronic guitarist Johnny Marr picked up the Classic Songwriter Award.
MOJO Honours List 2009 full winners list:
Breakthrough Act: White Lies
Song Of the Year: Elbow - 'One Day Like This'
Best Live Act: Fleet Foxes
Best Album: Paul Weller - '22 Dreams'Â
Compilation Of The Year: 'Take Me To The River: A Southern Soul Story'
Vision Award: Joy Division
Catalogue Award: Miles Davis - 'Kind Of Blue 50th Anniversary Edition'
Classic Album Award: The Zombies - 'Odessey And Oracle'
Maverick Award: Manic Street Preachers
Hero Award: The Pretty Things
Outstanding Contribution To Music: Joe Brown
Roots Awards: Topic Records
Classic Songwriter Award: Johnny Marr
MOJO Medal: Chris Blackwell/Island Records
Inspiration Award: Blur
Icon Award: Phil Lynott
Hall of Fame: Mott The Hoople
Lifetime Achievement Award: Yoko Ono