Multi-platinum artist Bob Seger, Bette Midler and R&B star Ne-Yo have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The team behind enduring hit Stand By Me - Ben E. King and songwriting duo Mike Stoller and the late Jerry Leiber - were given The Towering Song Award.
King was also presented with a special award for his performance on the track.
Ne-Yo, who was given the Hal David Starlight Award for young songwriters, credited music with saving him.
"I was a pretty riled up little kid," he explained, on the red carpet. "If not for my mom giving me the pad and the pen and telling me to take my emotions and put them there, there's no telling. I might I have been sticking you up or something."
Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks presented Bette Midler with the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. It honours industry veterans who are "pioneers in their craft" and have "inspired the music community".
Midler has enjoyed success on stage, screen and as a recording artist, winning three Grammys - including for her 1989 hit, Wind Beneath My Wings.
"Any award is a great honour," said Midler. "I mean people think of you and it is very sweet. It is all very sweet."
Seger kicked off the ceremony in New York with a performance of 1973 track, Turn the Page.
The Detroit rocker achieved commercial success with 1976 album Night Moves. He called songwriting the hardest but most rewarding thing he does.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 by Johnny Mercer to recognise the best in the field.
Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, the writers of long-running musical, The Fantastick's, were also honoured in the ceremony's 43rd year.
Other inductees include Jim Steinman, who wrote Bat Out of Hell and Total Eclipse of the Heart, Canadian folk rocker Gordon Lightfoot, and Don Schlitz, who penned country hits including When You Say Nothing at All.
Among those taking to the stage to hand out awards or perform were Meatloaf, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, Steve Miller and Kenny Rogers.