Songwriter And Producer Benny Blanco To Receive Hal David Starlight Award

Previously Announced Inductees Include Tony Hatch, Mick Jones & Lou Gramm, Holly Knight, JD Souther, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry

New York, NY- April 16, 2013 – Songwriter and producer Benny Blanco will be the recipient of the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award, to be presented at the 44th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 13th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Jimmy Webb announced today. 

The Hal David Starlight Award, created in 2004, was renamed in honor of SHOF Chairman Emeritus Hal David, for his longtime support of young songwriters. Award recipients are gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs. Blanco joins the prestigious company of Rob Thomas, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, John Legend, John Rzeznik, Jason Mraz, Taylor Swift, Drake and Ne-Yo.

Blanco is the 25-year-old songwriting genius and producer who has already made an indelible mark on the contemporary pop-music scene with 15 #1 hit singles to his name.  Blanco has co-written chart-toppers for Rihanna (“Diamonds”), Katy Perry (“Teenage Dream,” “California Gurls”), Maroon 5 (“Moves Like Jagger,” “Payphone”), Britney Spears (“Circus”), Taio Cruz (“Dynamite”), Ke$ha (“TiK ToK,” “Die Young”) and Gym Class Heroes (“Stereo Hearts”).  In the studio, he has collaborated with music heavyweights No Doubt, Bruno Mars, OneRepublic, Nicki Minaj and Paul Epworth. 

In early 2012, Blanco received the Songwriter of the Year Award at the BMI Pop Awards and has successfully solidified a firm presence on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his genre-hopping work with Wiz Khalifa, Trey Songz, Marina and The Diamonds and many other artists. 

“Few tales of meteoric stardom rival that of Benny Blanco.  The Songwriters Hall of Fame is proud and most honored to recognize this young writer’s artistic and commercial accomplishments,” said SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb. 

Blanco’s improbable journey to success follows the dynamic storyline of his Virginia roots, beat-making in his bedroom, to an apprenticeship with producer Disco D in New York City and a happenchance meeting with rapper Spank Rock, with whom their joint Bangers & Cash EP became an underground hit in 2007.  Blanco soon went on to work with artists such as Amanda Blank and Santigold, while his Bangers & Cash EP led to lucrative publishing deals.  Blanco credits his mentor, producer and songwriter, Dr. Luke with teaching him the intricacies of how to make a great song and interact with artists. 

Blanco has applied these lessons to launch his independent career over the past two years.  Not only did he co-write and produce the #1 hits “Diamonds,” “Die Young,” “Moves Like Jagger” and “Stereo Hearts,” but he is responsible for several tracks on Maroon 5’s most recent album Overexposed, including “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa, which hit #1 on the Top 40 and Hot AC charts.  Blanco simultaneously had tracks on urban and rhythmic radio with Wiz Khalifa’s “Work Hard, Play Hard” and Trey Songz’s “Heart Attack,” which received a nomination for Best R&B Song at the 2013 Grammy® Awards.

He is currently in the studio working with a number of diverse artists including Mikky Ekko, Ludacris, Sia, Maroon 5 and Jessie Ware and will have songs debut on several major album releases in 2013.  Blanco is also a frequent guest lecturer at New York University’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music and is involved with the Get Well Soon Tour, a charity Blanco started, designed to bring superstar musical performances to sick children in hospitals.

Previously announced inductees at this year’s SHOF event include Tony Hatch, Mick Jones & Lou Gramm, Holly Knight, JD Souther, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry.  The Pioneer Award will be presented to Berry Gordy and the Johnny Mercer Award will be presented to Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Ticket Information:
Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame event begin at $1000 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, (212) 573-6933. Net proceeds from the event will go toward the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs.

Fran Curtis
Rogers & Cowan
[email protected]

Lauren Wilsman
Rogers & Cowan
[email protected]