LONDON - Harry Styles, Charli XCX, Raye and indie rock duo Wet Leg were among the winners at the Ivors, the annual awards for songwriters and screen composers, in London on Thursday where music star Sting was honoured with a fellowship.

The "Every Breath You Take" writer and singer, who has sold more than 100 million albums from his time with rock band The Police and as a solo artist, received an Ivors Academy fellowship, the highest honour bestowed by the UK-based association for music writers.

Sting, who has already won seven Ivor Novello awards, becomes the Academy's 23rd Fellow, joining the likes of Elton John, Paul McCartney, Kate Bush and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

"A couple of years ago, I got the lifetime achievement award, which I thought was a little bit premature, so this is somehow beyond that," Sting told Reuters on the red carpet ahead of the ceremony.

"It sounds a bit like ‘Lord of the Rings’ to me but I think the fellowship has certain duties attached to it. I think one of the things that is important is to protect the rights of songwriters, not just established songwriters like me but young up and coming songwriters."

Wet Leg's Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers took the songwriter of the year award in recognition of their chart-topping eponymous debut album, while best contemporary song went to Raye's "Escapism".

Music collective Sault's "11" was named best album while best song musically and lyrically went to "King" by Florence + the Machine. Styles's mega hit "As It Was" won the most performed work category while rock band James received the music icon award.

Other winners included Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein who received the special international award while Victoria Canal became the fourth consecutive female songwriter to win the rising star category since its introduction in 2020. Named after the early 20th century Welsh composer, actor and entertainer Ivor Novello, the Ivor Awards were first handed out in 1956.

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Nick Macfie)