At 1 p.m. on Saturday, music artists and execs mixed and mingled at the inaugural Variety Hitmakers event that celebrated the launch of Variety’s first music franchise, titled Hitmakers.
The party, held at the Sunset Tower Hotel, was thrown in conjunction with the issue that lists 77 of the top music makers, while dissecting the 30 most-consumed songs of the year to date, analyzing the components of each song that made it into a hit record.
Noah Cyrus, Kat Graham, Diplo, Machine Gun Kelly, Poo Bear and more from the music scene were on hand for the event, which recognized hip-hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar with the Variety Hitmaker of the Year Award.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time, since I was 13, 14 years old,” Lamar said. “To hone in the title of a hitmaker means a lot because we put a lot of time and a lot of effort [in the studio].”
Lamar continued, “I thank each and every one of you for allowing me to evolve and let me make these weird a— songs that y’all like. These songs represent me and who I am. I want to continue to push that envelope and hopefully I continue to have y’all ears to do so.”
Charlie Walk, president of the Republic Records Group — which is named Label of the Year in the Hitmakers issue — also took the stage to present the Variety Hitmakers Crossover Artist Award to label artist and “The Edge of Seventeen” actress Hailee Steinfeld.
“Being recognized as a crossover artist is a real moment of validation and a personal realization that I am accomplishing what I set out to achieve a very long time ago,” she shared.
Record producer DJ Khaled, who was lauded for his many collaborations that spanned from Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Rihanna, Justin Beiber and Lil Wayne, was very thankful for receiving the Mediabase PowerPlaylist Award at the event.
“This is the type of cloth talk that we work hard for,” DJ Khaled told the crowd, before detailing how hard he works to nab collaborations with the industry’s top artists.
“Every time I see Kendrick, I’m sure he’ll tell you, I whisper in his ear and say, ‘I got something for us,'” he admitted.
Shirley Halperin, Variety executive editor of music received much applause as she closed the ceremony, stating, “Let’s make sure that our songwriters and producers and creators are paid adequately, and let’s make sure that they can make a living so that we can have songs in the future.”
The event was sponsored by iHeartMedia and Mediabase, Cîroc French Vanilla, Shutterstock, and BuzzAngle Music.