Stars including Lily Allen, Sting and Elton John were honoured for their songwriting by the US music industry.
Awards were handed out at a ceremony last night at the Dorchester Hotel in London organised by the rights body Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI).
Don Black, known for tracks such as Born Free, Diamonds Are Forever and Michael Jackson's Ben, attended the ceremony and collected an award.
The lyricist, who has contributed to numerous film soundtracks as well as working with Andrew Lloyd Webber, was awarded the BMI Icon title.
Previous winners of the award, which is given to writers who have had "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers", include Ray Davies, Bryan Ferry and Van Morrison.
Awards were also handed out for some of most played songs on US radio including Lily Allen's The Fear and The Script's The Man Who Can't Be Moved.
Sting was recognised for the Police song Every Breath You Take, which has been played more than 10 million times since it was first released in 1983.
Elton John was also recognised along with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.
Among the pair's successes are Your Song, which has been played eight million times, and Crocodile Rock which has been played around six million times.
BMI collects royalties on behalf of writers and music publishers in the US.