Van Morrison was honoured for joining an elite group of music stars as his hit Brown Eyed Girl achieved 10 million plays on US radio.
The singer, whose chart career stretches back to the mid-Sixties, joins Sting in the small club of non-US stars who have enjoyed such airplay success.
His contribution was honoured at the BMI Awards in London last night, hosted by US performing rights body Broadcast Music Inc.
Irish band The Script took the award for the most played song in the US by a European act in the past year with their hit Breakeven.
Also recognised at the event were rock legends Queen, who were named icons for their achievements over the past four decades.
Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor were guests at the awards in London's Dorchester Hotel, attended by figures from the US music industry.
The band -- whose hits include Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are The Champions -- are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their formation this year.
Belfast-born Morrison first released Brown Eyed Girl in 1967 when the then 22-year-old's solo career was still in its infancy. But despite continuing to be popular, he recently said: "It's not one of my best. I mean I've got about 300 songs that I think are better."