SZA Honored With Hal David Starlight Award

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 01: SZA accepts the R&B Artist of the Year award onstage during the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards at Dolby Theatre on April 01, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

SZA is set to receive the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award during the Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction. It takes place on June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. They named this award after the late lyricist and SHOF chairman emeritus Hal David. It recognizes “gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry with their original songs,” according to the announcement.

The Hal David Starlight Award complements the Johnny Mercer Award. The organization presents this award as its highest honor for a distinguished career. This year, Diane Warren will receive the Mercer Award. This occasion signifies only the second time in history that both awards will honor female artists. In 2019, the first instance occurred when Carole Bayer Sager received the Mercer Prize and Halsey was honored with the Starlight Award.

SZA is the second Black woman to achieve this honor, following Alicia Keys in 2005. Her notable contributions to the music industry include a 2019 Academy Award nomination for co-writing “All the Stars” from Black Panther.

Although she didn’t win, many have widely acknowledged her talent. At the 66th annual Grammy Awards, SZA was the most nominated artist. She received nine nods and won three Grammys for her album SOS.

Nile Rodgers, the chairman of SHOF, expressed enthusiasm about SZA’s achievement, highlighting her exceptional songwriting, performances, and artistry. Rodgers noted that artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are expanding the boundaries of success in the industry. He believes that the last two years have undeniably belonged to SZA.

SZA’s sophomore album “SOS” saw major success. It topped the Billboard 200 for 10 weeks and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for 24 weeks.

Multiple tracks from the album, including “Kill Bill” and “Snooze,” reached the top positions on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.

The 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction will also honor other notable figures in the industry, including Hillary Lindsey, Timbaland (Timothy Mosley), and more.