Crowley, who also banks €10,000 in prize money, performed at the packed-out awards gig in Dublin's Vicar Street.
Other nominees in attendance included Oscar-winning band The Swell Season, which features Glen Hansard, and Derry rockers And So I Watch You From Afar.
Former winner Julie Feeney, shortlisted this year for her album Pages, said the award was key to boosting musicians' profiles.
"But this is like a piece of a jigsaw -- you need all the pieces together," she added.
"There's no point in pinning it all on one night, all the other parts have to be there too."
The 12-strong jury panel of Irish music journalists and industry experts deliberated at length to choose the album from a shortlist of 10 released by Irish artists last year.
According to industry estimates, Choice-nominated acts can expect at least a doubling or even trebling in sales of their record over coming day and weeks.