The “Industry Baby” is going to be recognized by… well, the industry. The Songwriters Hall Of Fame announced they will honor Lil Nas X with the Hal David Starlight Award, given to “gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs,” per Variety.
Nas, whose award will be bestowed at the 51st annual SHOF Gala in June, is the latest in an illustrious list of prodigies to receive the award. Honorees include Taylor Swift, Halsey, Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Alicia Keys, and more. (According to Billboard, he’s only the second hip hop artist to be granted the honor, after Drake in 2011.)
Nile Rodgers, the Songwriters Hall Of Fame chair, said in a statement, “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.” Per Variety, Rodgers continued, “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.”
SHOF President & CEO Linda Moran agreed, “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.”
At this point, there’s little standing between Nas and total world domination. He parlayed the massive viral success of “Old Town Road” into a legitimate music career, garnering accolades left and right (including a “couple Grammys”). He embarks on his first world tour in the fall, and, as he recently bragged on Twitter, already has the two longest-running number one singles on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart. (“Old Town Road” is also the longest-running number one hit in Billboard Hot 100 history, period.) And all at the Starlight Award-appropriate age of 23 years old! Long live Montero, indeed.