The annual Q Awards have been held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, where Kylie Minogue was idol of the year.
The main prize - best act in the world today - went to Arctic Monkeys, although they missed out on two other prizes.
Sir Paul McCartney, icon of the year, said music still offered him "the same magic" as at the start of his career.
Ex-Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown - now a successful solo artist - was presented with the Q legend award.
The classic songwriting award went to Billy Bragg, at a show where Damon Albarn won a prize for inspiration.
Newcomer of the year was singer-songwriter Kate Nash, who beat Mika, Calvin Harris, Jamie T and Jack Penate.
Stereophonics won the prize for best classic song, as voted for by Q readers, for Local Boy in the Photograph.
Johnny Marr, who was The Smiths' guitarist, won Q's lifetime achievement award.
Ceremony host Jonathan Ross joked that the Spice Girls would be reforming "under the name Atomic Mutton".
Heidi and Amelle from the Sugababes also attended the awards, which coincided with Q magazine's 21st birthday.
The Enemy were Q's best new act, with Klaxons, Cherry Ghost, Pigeon Detectives and The View on the shortlist.