The 70-year-old singer was honoured for his work with the Teenage Cancer Trust, which he has helped since its inception in 1990 and has organised an annual series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall featuring an array of big names.
He was given the inaugural outstanding contribution to charity title at the Music Week Awards last night, with his recent collaborator Wilko Johnson - who also has cancer and has refused treatment - among those attending to pay tribute to his work.
The TCT concerts have raised more than £17 million since their launch in 2000 with acts such as Oasis, Coldplay and Sir Paul McCartney performing over the years, with the 2014 show last month featuring the likes of The Cure and Suede.
Noel Gallagher and Robert Plant were among those who recorded messages praising Daltrey's work at the ceremony in north London last night, with Paul Weller handing over the award.
The lifetime achievement prize, known as The Strat award, went to former Sony Music executive Rob Stringer who is now the chairman of Columbia Records in the United States.
David Bowie sent a message in tribute to Stringer's support over the years, saying: "If you become the object of his enthusiasm an artist will find a genuine long-term support that is sadly missing in the recording industry."
Joking about Stringer's willingness to go the extra mile for his acts, Bowie's message went on: "Rob had not only guested as an executive third Daft Punk member at a lunchtime gig at a club in Manhattan, but had also led a Dylanology symposium at Barney's clothing store, sung falsetto on a new London Grammar track and choreographed a touching interpretative dance number to One Direction's They Don't Know About Us for the cast of Glee."
The Manic Street Preachers, whom Stringer championed during his years at Sony, performed at the event in his honour.