Cyndi Lauper, Van Morrison and Lady Gaga have all been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The stars received their honours at a three-hour ceremony in New York, and many expressed surprise in their acceptance speeches.
“I still can’t believe I make a living making music,” said Lauper. “I’m blown away.”
The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, was also inducted posthumously alongside the band’s lyricist Robert Hunter.
Country artists Toby Keith, who has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, and Bobby Braddock, who wrote Tammy Wynette’s DIVORCE, were also honoured.
And “poet laureate of the blues” Willie Dixon, who died in 1992, was cited for songs including Hoochie Coochie Man, I Just Want to Make Love to You and You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover.
Northern Irish songwriter Van Morrison accepted his award a week after being knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours.
The star performed a duet with Michael Buble on Real Real Gone, and noted that songwriting royalties had kept him afloat during dry spells in his career.
“The name of the game is hustle,” he said.
His appearance was particularly notable because he pulled out his induction at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
Gaga won the contemporary icon award, receiving her trophy from jazz star Tony Bennett, with whom she recorded an album of duets last year.
“I think she’s definitely underrated as a songwriter,” said Hall of Fame president Linda Moran, “partially because she was first known more as a personality.”
The singer also covered the 4 Non Blondes hit What’s Up in tribute to fellow honoree Linda Perry, who penned that song, as well as Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful and Pink’s Get The Party Started.
Other performers included Carly Rae Jepsen, who sang Lauper’s ballad Time After Time; and Buble, who crooned a finger-snapping version of Van Morrison’s Moondance.