Lil Nas X will be honored at the long-awaited 51 st annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala next month with the Hal David Starlight Award, which recognizes “gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs.”
Nas, a Sony Music Publishing writer, joins previous honorees Drake, Taylor Swift, Halsey, Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Benny Blanco, John Mayer and others. The award, created in 2004, was named in honor of SHOF chairman emeritus Hal David for his support of young songwriters.
The ceremony, the first since 2019, is slated for Thursday, June 16 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
SHOF chair Nile Rodgers commented, “Lil Nas X is someone we are very proud to award the Hal David Starlight Award to. He has perhaps better than anyone demonstrated how powerful great songs are, with ‘Old Town Road’ and ‘Montero’ dominating the charts for almost every day of the last three years. If you’re lucky enough to be alive at this time, you know exactly who Lil Nas X is and he’s an incredible and inspirational person for every one of his communities as well.”
President & CEO Linda Moran added, “Lil Nas X’s thought-provoking multi-genre song/musical style — described as pop rap, hip hop, country rap, trap, pop rock, pop, and rock — speaks soundly to diverse generations of fans. He is certainly worthy of joining the esteemed list of past Starlight Award honorees.”
Nas first single, “Old Town Road,” famously was recorded for $50 in a small Atlanta studio and has become the longest-running No. 1 hit in Billboard Hot 100 history. But rather than becoming a one-hit wonder, he has morphed his music and fame into challenging new directions, expanding from the country-hip-hop of his 2019 debut into R&B, rock and other genres while using his videos, social media and public statements to become the most outspokenly proud LGBTQ rapper in history. He has since scored hits with his “Montero” album and single and especially “Industry Baby,” his collaboration with Jack Harlow, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 last fall. Nas, who has graced the cover of Variety, embarks on his first nationwide tour in September.
Inductees at this year’s SHOF event include Mariah Carey, Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart p/k/a Eurythmics, Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley & Chris Jasper p/k/a The Isley Brothers, Steve Miller, Pharrell Williams & Chad Hugo p/k/a The Neptunes, Rick Nowels and William “Mickey” Stevenson. Master songwriter Paul Williams will be receiving the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award and Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, Jody Gerson will receive the Abe Olman Publisher Award.