The 53-year-old was presented with the gong by The Voice star Tom Jones, beating Adele's best selling album of the past decade 21 and PJ Harvey's Mercury prize-winning Let England Shake.
The annual awards ceremony, which also recognises excellence in dance, opera and classical music categories, was hosted by Melvyn Bragg and held at the Dorchester Hotel on London's Park Lane.
Bragg said: "With such a strong and vibrant array of winners, from Kate Bush to Matilda, to the ENO, this is a wonderful opportunity to praise the incredible wealth of artistic brilliance we have in this country."
Following on from their seven wins at the Olivier Awards last month, The Royal Shakespeare Company had another winning scoop for Matilda in the theatre category, beating the National Theatre's One Man, Two Guvnors and the Royal Court's Constellations to the prize.
Welsh pianist Llyr Williams took the classical music award for his performances of Beethoven's complete Piano Sontat Cycle; while The English National Opera won the opera award for its production of The Damnation of Faust.