Ray Davies accepted his Songwriters Hall of Fame induction via video, as he was unable to attend due to a death in the family.
The Kinks star was among those honoured in the 2014 class but missed the ceremony in New York after his sister passed away.
He accepted the honour in a video, saying he was proud to be part of the group, which included Donovan and songwriters Jim Weatherly, Graham Gouldman and Mark James.
Performers at the gala included Jon Bon Jovi, who sang Kinks hits such as You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night.
Johnny Cash's daughter Rosanne performed Catch The Wind with Donovan following his induction and American Idol champ Candice Glover sang Midnight Train To Georgia, written by Weatherly.
A Great Big World performed 10cc's I'm Not In Love to pay tribute to Gouldman, the English songwriter who wrote the Yardbirds' For Your Love and the Hollies' Bus Stop.
Martina McBride performed Suspicious Minds, a number one Elvis Presley hit which James wrote.
Grammy-winning RnB singer Miguel gave a show-stopping performance of Me And Mrs Jones, written by Gamble And Huff, who received the Johnny Mercer award, the night's top prize.
Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds received the Hal David Starlight award and performed a slow, piano version of the Grammy-winning Radioactive, which he penned with his bandmates.
The 26-year-old said songwriting strengthened his relationship with his father, who he said worked a lot because he was raising nine children.
"Every song I write I play it for him," the singer said. "It's bonded us in a way that sometimes time wasn't able do."
The show also featured performances from Jackie Evancho and Chubby Checker.
Speaking on the red carpet, Chubby said he wanted the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to know it's time to induct him.
"I don't want to get in there when I'm 85 years old. I'll tell them to drop dead, so you better do it quick while I'm still smiling," said the 72-year-old Let's Twist Again star.
"If you put me in when I'm too old to make a living, then it's no good for me to be in there."
He added: "The Rolling Stones, they're in there. The Beastie Boys are in there, they're young. Hall and Oates were just in there and they're still making money."