Iconic pop group Duran Duran, glam rockers Queen and Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed were today (May 26) honored at the 50th annual Ivor Novello awards in London.

Iconic pop group Duran Duran, glam rockers Queen and Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed were today (May 26) honored at the 50th annual Ivor Novello awards in London.

The British Academy of Composers & Songwriters presented the awards during a lunchtime gala at the Grosvenor House Hotel, in association with collecting body Performing Right Society.

The PRS bestowed the prestigious accolade for outstanding contribution to British music to Duran Duran, whose best-remembered works include "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Ordinary World" and "The Reflex." Previous recipients of the award include Elvis Costello, Morrissey, the Small Faces and the Clash.

"We've never chased awards, but I have to say the Ivor Novello I take a little more seriously because it really is about songwriting," Duran Duran keyboardist and founding member Nick Rhodes tells Billboard.biz.

Ivor Novello trophies are typically awarded to British songwriters who have made a distinctive and lasting contribution to the country's music scene and influenced the course of contemporary music culture.

Piano-led melodic trio Keane won the songwriters of the year trophy, following the multi-million selling international success of their debut 2004 album "Hopes and Fears."

Robert Smith, frontman of influential alternative act the Cure, was honored with the international achievement award. Queen took the trophy for outstanding song collection while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards won the Ivors' special award for songwriting.

The audience however saved their warmest applause for New Yorker Lou Reed, who received the special international award. During his acceptance speech, Reed thanked the British public for supporting his works, in particular "Walk On the Wild Side," "Perfect Day" and "Satellite of Love," which he said broke first in the United Kingdom.

Also during the ceremony, Franz Ferdinand's chief songwriters Robert Hardy, Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy won the best contemporary song category for the Scottish rockers' worldwide hit "Take Me Out."

Bob Geldof and Midge Ure's chart-topping charity track "Do They Know It's Christmas" was recognized as the best-selling U.K. single of 2004.