The Killers and Patti Smith have been given top awards for their contribution to pop music in the US.

The 'Somebody Told Me' rock group took home the Vanguard prize for their impact in shaping American music, while Patti was given the Founders Award for lifetime achievement by The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

The society gives out awards annually based on the number of performances and airplays of songs on US radio, in shops and other public areas.

Accepting her Founders award, Patti talked of her initial naivety of the music business when she started her career in 1975.

She said: "I just thought you did your record and that was it. And the first time I got these cheques, I said, 'I already got paid for that song'," she said at the Hollywood ceremony.

"So I'm grateful in good times, and I was very grateful in hard times."

The ceremony - which was held in recognition of chart successes in 2008 - also named Jason Mraz's 'I'm Yours' as having spent the most weeks of any song in spent in the US chart during that year.

Songwriter Dr Luke - real name Lukasz Gottwald - won Songwriter of the Year, after co-writing five of 2008's biggest singles, including Katy Perry's 'Hot and Cold' and 'I Kissed a Girl', Flo Rida's 'Right Round' and Miley Cyrus's 'Party In The USA'.