Timbaland inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame; SZA wins young songwriter award

“I owe my career to Missy Elliott,” Timbaland said during his award acceptance speech.

Timbaland speaks onstage during the 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala on June 13, 2024, in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame)

The Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards gala was an event not to be missed. 

Legendary music producer Timbaland was inducted into the organization’s 2024 class on Tuesday night, joined by fellow songwriters R.E.M., Steely Dan, Hillary Lindsey and Dean Pitchford, according to The Hollywood Reporter

Missy Elliott, Timbaland’s longtime collaborator and the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall, was in attendance and paid tribute to the producer. Timbaland made sure to thank Elliott and several other artists he has worked with, including Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake and Magoo. 

“I owe my career to Missy Elliott,” he said during his acceptance speech, per THR. He concluded with gratitude toward the Songwriters Hall: “Thanks for giving me a seat at the table — I’ve been waiting a long time.”

SZA speaks onstage during the 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala on June 13, 2024, in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame)

Timbaland wasn’t the only artist from the R&B and hip-hop space to earn an award. Singer SZA won the Hal David Starlight Award — an honor for young songwriters. The Grammy winner, whose “SOS” was among 2023’s biggest albums, sang an acoustic version of her song “Snooze” during the ceremony.

“I’m just beyond all of my wildest dreams,” SZA said during her acceptance speech, per People. “I’m just so grateful. Thank you for seeing me. I swear, I’ll be like, ‘Oh I wrote this and I wrote that. And [people would] be like, ‘OK,’ especially if you’re a woman, especially if you’re a Black woman. So to win this… It just means the world.”

Songwriters Hall chairman Nile Rodgers presented the award to SZA, who said she’s been “a lot of different people” as an artist.

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“I’ve been 200 pounds. I’ve been 130 pounds,” SZA said. “I’ve been someone who doesn’t dance at all onstage, someone that can only close their eyes and look down, someone that is dancing and trying their best. I’ve just been all these things and I feel like, ‘Oh man, I struggle at the artist-thing.’ Like writing was where I felt like a person and that I had value and that I could show that I was smart, and it was beyond, ‘Am I pretty? Am I liked?’ And that basically meant everything to me.” 

“It made me feel like a person, that I was doing something worth something,” she concluded. “So basically receiving this award validates my entire career.”

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