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Hip-Hop Icon Timbaland Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame, SZA Receives Starlight Award

The 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony Thursday night was a celebration of musical legends and contemporary hitmakers, with Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter Timbaland and R&B sensation SZA taking center stage.

Timbaland was honored for his decades-long influence on hip-hop and R&B. The Virginia native's extensive catalog includes chart-topping hits like Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On," Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" and Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River."

Elliott introduced Timbaland, praising his transformative influence on the music industry.

During his acceptance speech, Timbaland acknowledged his late collaborator and friend Aaliyah, stating, "I want to thank baby girl, rest in peace, I hope you're watching." His tribute was followed by a medley of his greatest hits.

SZA was awarded the Hal David Starlight Award, recognizing young songwriters with significant impact. In her acceptance speech, she emphasized the personal significance of songwriting, stating, "Writing is where I felt like a person, that I had value." Receiving the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, she added, "validates my entire career."
The evening also featured the induction of alternative rock icons R.E.M., with all four original members reuniting for a rare performance of their hit "Losing My Religion." Nashville songwriter Hillary Lindsey and Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen were also inducted, with Fagen paying tribute to his late partner Walter Becker. Jason Isbell performed a cover of R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)."
"Footloose" and "Fame" lyricist Dean Pitchford was also inducted, with the Bacon Brothers and Denise Williams performing his iconic hits. The ceremony culminated with a tribute to Diane Warren, who received the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, and a performance celebrating the 40th anniversary of her hit song "Rhythm of the Night."
    2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees:
    • Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley
    • Hillary Lindsey
    • R.E.M. (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe)
    • Steely Dan (Donald Fagen)
    • Dean Pitchford

    Special Award Recipients:

    • SZA (Hal David Starlight Award)
    • Diane Warren (Johnny Mercer Award)

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