Sara Bareilles to Receive Songwriters Hall of Fame's Hal David Starlight Award: Exclusive

Sara Bareilles
Dia Dipasupil/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Sara Bareilles in New York City on Feb. 27, 2018.

Joining some of the music industry’s most iconic names, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles will receive the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Hal David Starlight Award in 2018.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony, set for June 14 in New York City, will induct Bill AndersonKool & The Gang's Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown and James “JT” Taylor; Stephen Dorff; Jermaine DupriAlan Jackson; John Mellencamp; and Allee Willis. Sir Lucian Grainge will receive the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award.

Created in 2004, the Hal David Starlight Award is given to “gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs,” according to a press release. The award is an ode to David's lasting impact as a lyricist -- most notably with frequent collaborator Burt Bacharach. 

Bareilles fits the bill, as the 38-year-old talent has been nominated for six Grammys in her career, including nods for album of the year (The Blessed Unrest, 2013) and song of the year ("Love Song," 2008).

"Sara Bareilles is a force to be reckoned with in popular music," commented SHOF co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. "From her self-described 'piano-based pop soul' sound to her tremendous success with her long-running Broadway show Waitress, Sara has been a pioneer, forging new ground as a singer-songwriter with every step in her career." 

President & CEO Linda Moran added, "Her songwriting speaks to our vulnerabilities and strengths in her singular voice, often from a women's point of view, and she is a natural choice for the Hal David Starlight Award. Her talent resonates as much today as it will tomorrow, and we welcome this opportunity to honor her at our Annual Awards Gala."

As for her songwriting process, the Sony/ATV Music Publishing writer maintains an honesty not often seen in the music industry. In a 2015 Billboard interview, Bareilles explained the source of her lyrics. “I have a lot of baggage, which I have to process and negotiate on a daily basis," she said, explaining how being told what to wear as a woman in music "triggered a lot of that stuff. Like what I have to offer as a ­mouthpiece and a mind is not enough. It made me want to rage on behalf of all those girls who feel like they're being asked to be something they don't want to be in order to fill in a blank."

She received a Tony nomination for writing the music and lyrics to the Broadway smash Waitress, and took over the musical's lead role for a spell. On April 1, she'll continue exercising her acting chops in the live TV musical production of Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.