Singer-songwriter Van Morrison and US actor Kevin Spacey have been given knighthoods in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
The Belfast-born star has been recognised for services to music, and tourism in Northern Ireland, the inspiration for many of his hits.
Morrison said: "Throughout my career I have always preferred to let my music speak for me, and it is a huge honour to now have that body of work recognised in this way."
Spacey, who is soon to step down after 10 years as artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London, said he felt like "an adopted son" after his honorary award for services to British theatre and international culture was announced.
Former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Edwards is knighted, and there are OBEs for ex-England footballer Frank Lampard, and England's record-breaking cricketer James Anderson.
Long distance runner Jo Pavey and Ebola nurse Will Pooley are among the MBEs. Journalist Caroline Criado-Perez, who successfully campaigned to keep a woman on a British banknote, is made an OBE.
The same honour goes to Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne and entertainer Michael Ball, and Twelve Years A Slave actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond become CBEs.
Ball, who described himself as "a proper royalist", said he was "chuffed to bits" and his 80-year-old father burst into tears on hearing the news.
The author is among 1,163 people on the list. Recipients range in age from 17-year-old Natasha Lambert, from the Isle of Wight, who was born with athetoid cerebral palsy and is recognised for her charitable fundraising, to 103-year-old allergy research pioneer Dr William Frankland.
There are only eight new dames, compared with more than three times as many Knights. But overall 51 percent of recipients are women, outnumbering men for only the second time in honours history.
The dames include Frances Ashcroft, professor of physiology at the University of Oxford, known for her ground breaking research into type two diabetes; Prof Anne Glover, former chief scientific advisor to the European Commission, and businesswoman Zarine Kharas, founder of the JustGiving.com charity website.
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner and former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Woolf - who chaired the inquiry into the 1990 Strangeways prison riot - have been appointed members of the elite Companions of Honour.
Gareth Edwards's knighthood is for sporting and charitable work, while former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies said he was "extremely humbled" to be given an OBE in recognition of his fundraising for Cardiff's Velindre Cancer Centre.
Cricketer James Anderson, who became England's record highest Test wicket-taker in April, said: "I'm very proud of my recent achievements, and this just caps it off."
Lampard, who is Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorer but spent last season at Manchester City ahead of a move to the US, described his OBE as "an extremely proud moment for myself and my family".
Meanwhile, England women's football captain Casey Stoney, currently competing in the World Cup in Canada, was named an MBE, along with boxing super middleweight champion Carl Froch.
Rugby Union star Jonny Wilkinson, whose name was wrongly reported to be in the last set of honours, becomes a CBE for his dedication to the game.