Bowie's The Next Day, which marked the star's comeback, was nominated for the Pop Music trophy at this year's South Bank Sky Arts Awards.
But Arctic Monkeys' AM, their fifth album, scooped the award, also beating electronic music duo Disclosure's debut album Settle.
ITV thriller Broadchurch, starring Olivia Colman and David Tennant, won best TV drama, beating the BBC's Top Of The Lake and The Fall.
Steve Coogan's Oscar-nominated Philomena lost out in the film category to The Selfish Giant, Clio Barnard's story of the life of a teenage scrap scavenger.
Coogan also missed out on the comedy award, with rising star Bridget Christie's A Bic For Her (at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Soho Theatre) beating Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
The Outstanding Achievement Award was presented by comedian Frank Skinner to artist Tracey Emin.
The theatre gong was won by Let The Right One In (National Theatre of Scotland), beating Othello (The National Theatre) and Chimerica (Headlong and Almeida Theatre).
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson won the literature award.
The Sky Arts Awards, taking place at London's Dorchester hotel, are hosted by Melvyn Bragg.
South Bank Sky Arts Award Winners 2014:
Comedy: Bridget Christie, A Bic For Her
Theatre: Let The Right One In, National Theatre of Scotland.
Visual Art: Katie Paterson, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, and Tipping Point, Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Times Breakthrough Award: Nick Helm
Film: The Selfish Giant
Opera: Written On Skin, Royal Opera House
Pop Music: Arctic Monkeys, AM
Dance: Dracula, Mark Bruce Company
Classical: The Rest Is Noise, Various Artists, Southbank Centre
TV Drama: Broadchurch, ITV
Literature: Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
The Outstanding Achievement Award, in association with the Dorchester, presented by Frank Skinner to Tracey Emin.
Emin said that she was "overwhelmed" to receive her award.
Speaking backstage, she said that she had complained to Education Secretary Michael Gove about the academic nature of curriculum changes.
"I had a go at Michael Gove. Michael Gove's scared of me, I'm telling you," she said.
"The Prime Minister did write back to me, trying to assure me that they were doing all these other things."
Emin, who was criticised by fellow artists when she backed the Conservatives in the 2010 general election, added: "But the cuts in visual arts are not as low as what they were with Labour."
Emin added: "Without visual artists I don't think any of us would be here."
She said that top-earning artists should not be criticised over their earnings.
"They (people) think that we are all super-rich, but we've worked for years really hard and are at the top of our field.
"No-one slags off a Hollywood actor for being in a film, because it's art it's as if we're cheating someone, we're not."
Britain should be "proud" about its flourishing artistic scene, she said.