SZA to Be Honored by Songwriters Hall of Fame With Hal David Starlight Award

SZA will receive the Hal David Starlight Award at the 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards dinner on Thursday, June 13, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.


The award, named after the late lyricist and SHOF chairman emeritus, is presented to “gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry with their original songs,” according to the announcement.

It is meant as a balance to the Johnny Mercer Award, the organization’s top award, which is a career-capping honor. This year’s Mercer Award will be presented to Diane Warren. This marks only the second time that both the Mercer Award and the Hal David Starlight Award will be presented to female artists. In 2019, Carole Bayer Sager took the Mercer prize, while Halsey won the Starlight Award.

SZA will become the second Black woman to receive the honor, following Alicia Keys in 2005.

SZA and Warren competed for an Academy Award for best original song in 2019. SZA was nominated for co-writing “All the Stars” from Black Panther; Warren for writing “I’ll Fight” from RBG, a documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Neither song won. The award went to “Shallow” from A Star Is Born.

The “Snooze” singer was the most nominated artist at the 66th annual Grammy Awards, with nine nods. She won three Grammys in February for her sophomore album SOS, though she lost the top prize, album of the year, to Taylor Swift (the 2010 recipient of the Hal David Starlight Award).

“This is such an exciting time for songwriters and music,” SHOF chairman Nile Rodgers said in a statement. “Phenomenal artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are pushing the envelope of what success looks like, but who could argue that the last two years belong to SZA. Incredible songwriting, incredible performances, incredible artistry.  She so deserves to be the 2024 recipient of the Hal David Starlight Award!”

SOS topped the all-genre Billboard 200 for 10 weeks and headed Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for 24 weeks. “Kill Bill” and “Snooze” reached No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.

Previously announced 2024 inductees are Hillary Lindsey; Timothy Mosley (aka Timbaland); Dean Pitchford; R.E.M. (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe) and Steely Dan (Donald Fagen and the late Walter Becker).

Here’s the complete list of recipients of the Hal David Starlight Award.

  • 2004: Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty)
  • 2005: Alicia Keys
  • 2006: John Mayer
  • 2007: John Legend
  • 2008: John Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls)
  • 2009: Jason Mraz
  • 2010: Taylor Swift
  • 2011: Drake
  • 2012: Ne-Yo
  • 2013: Benny Blanco
  • 2014: Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons)
  • 2015: Nate Ruess (fun.)
  • 2016: Nick Jonas (Jonas Brothers)
  • 2017: Ed Sheeran
  • 2018: Sara Bareilles
  • 2019: Halsey
  • 2022: Lil Nas X
  • 2023: Post Malone
  • 2024: SZA

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