SZA Receives Prestigious Hal David Starlight Award At Songwriters Hall Of Fame Gala

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SZA is being celebrated for her exceptional songwriting, and she feels truly appreciated.

Thursday night (June 13) saw the prestigious 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. SZA was the recipient of the Hal David Starlight Award, presented by musical luminary Nile Rodgers.

To the “Kill Bill” singer, the profound accolade is one that affirms her place in the music industry as a professional artist.

“As an artist, I’ve been a lot of different people. I’ve been 200 pounds. I’ve been 130 pounds,” SZA began, starting her Starlight Award acceptance speech by highlighting some of her challenges. “I’ve been someone who doesn’t dance at all onstage, someone that can only close their eyes and look down, someone that is dancing and trying their best.”

“I’ve just been all these things and I feel like, ‘Oh man, I struggle at the artist-thing.’ Like writing was where I felt like a person and that I had value and that I could show that I was smart, and it was beyond, ‘Am I pretty? Am I liked?’ And that basically meant everything to me,” she said.

“It made me feel like a person, that I was doing something worth something. So basically receiving this award validates my entire career.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nile Rodgers, who also serves as the chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was met with a standing ovation when he presented the Starlight Award to SZA and called out Spotify for insufficiently acknowledging songwriters on their platform.

Performing with her frequent collaborator Carter Lang, the singer presented an acoustic version of her acclaimed SOS single “Snooze.”

SZA becomes part of a distinguished group of Hal David Starlight Award Honorees, among them Alicia Keys, John Mayer, John Legend, Lil Nas X, Ed Sheeran, Drake, and others.

The evening saw the induction of Hillary Lindsey, R.E.M., Steely Dan, Timbaland, and Dean Pitchford into the prestigious 2024 class of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

SZA joined the celebrated league of Songwriters Hall 2024 honorees on Thursday evening, including Hillary Lindsey, Diane Warren, the late Cindy Walker, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan, Timbaland, and Mike Mills and Michael Stipe of R.E.M.

Missy Elliot attended the event to celebrate Timbaland, her longtime collaborator and friend, who credited the “Work It” artist with helping shape his illustrious career.

At the end of his speech, Timbaland acknowledged the prestigious accolade and conveyed his gratitude for the enduring recognition.“Thanks for giving me a seat at the table — I’ve been waiting a long time,” he said.

SZA’s songwriting has brought some pretty measurable achievements. “Love Galore,” her single with Travis Scott from Ctrl, peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100, was certified 5x Platinum, and earned a Grammy nod for Best Rap/Sung Performance. Another single from Ctrl, “The Weekend,” peaked at No. 29, reached 5x Platinum status, and received a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance.

Her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar on the Black Panther soundtrack, “All the Stars,” peaked at No. 7, achieved 2x Platinum certification, and garnered four Grammy nominations.

The Olivia Newton-John-inspired duet “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat peaked at No. 3, achieved 5x Platinum certification, and won a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

SZA also co-wrote the Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé jam “Feeling Myself,” which peaked at No. 43 and achieved 2x Platinum certification, as well as Rihanna’s 2016 single “Consideration” from her last studio album, Anti.

Earlier this month, she graced the stage with a vibrant performance at the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City and is slated to attend the 2024 BET Awards, where she has accumulated five nominations.

SZA’s 2024 has showcased her at the top of her music game, with her second studio album, SOS, marking the beginning of a new era in her artistic journey. The album received nine Grammy nominations and took home three awards, including Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Progressive R&B Album.

The esteemed Songwriters Hall Gala was graced by notable artists including Jason Isbell, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban, who came together to pay tribute to the honorees.

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