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The track, co-written by producer Paul Epworth, was named Song of the Year at the event in London hosted by licensing body Broadcast Music Inc (BMI).
The song was the most-played on US TV and radio in 2011, notching up 1.35 million airplays.
Since release, its two million airplays is the equivalent of being played back-to-back for more than 12 years.
It had great success in the US, where it spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and remained on the chart for 65 weeks.
Adele was also awarded two other prizes from her hits Someone Like You and Set Fire to the Rain for being among the most-played pop songs last year.
British songwriter Fraser T Smith, who was recognised for co-writing the latter track, said he was “very proud of” the award, noting, “writers are the unsung heroes” of the music industry.
But the writer, who is currently working on new albums for Katy B and Lily Allen, said he was happy to stay in the background.
“The reason a lot of us do what we do is we like taking a step back. When you see the rigours of being an artist, you count your blessings. Us writers, we feel quite comfortable in the darkened, dingy studios.”