On Wednesday evening (Jan. 22), industry insiders and standout songwriters packed the Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails venue for an intimate showcase -- a joint event from the National Music Publishers Association and Billboard. Honorees Lewis Capaldi and Finneas chatted near the stage, while the latter’s superstar sister, Billie Eilish, and mom hung nearby. Signs scattered across the bar -- which read “closed during performances, respect the songwriters and enjoy the show” -- best stated the intention of the evening: to celebrate and honor the craft of songwriting.
Following a standout year in which Billboard launched its Songwriters and Producers charts, NMPA president David Israelite kicked off the evening by calling Billboard editorial director Hannah Karp a “best friend” to songwriters. Karp proceeded to introduce five award recipients: Capaldi was honored for his Billboard Hot 100 No. 1, “Someone You Loved”; Finneas was applauded for becoming Billboard’s first-ever Producer of the Year; Tayla Parx was celebrated for crafting genre-spanning hits from Panic! At The Disco’s “High Hopes” to Khalid and Normani’s “Love Lies”; Victoria Monet accepted her award for working alongside Ariana Grande and helping the singer land two No. 1s in 2019; and finally, Meghan Trainor was awarded for her work with She Is the Music and ongoing advocacy for songwriters over the years.