Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Variety Hitmakers Brunch [Photos]

Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld

By Jack Barnes

On Saturday, November 18th, Variety hosted its inaugural Hitmakers Brunch celebrating those profiled in the upcoming Hitmakers issue, on newsstands and on starting November 21st. At this year’s event, Variety unveiled the Hitmakers covers, which include profiles of Kendrick Lamar (Artist Hitmaker of the Year), DJ Khaled (Mediabase POWERPLAYLIST Award), and Scooter Braun (Executive Hitmaker of the Year). Additionally, Hailee Steinfeld received the Crossover Artist Award for her stellar works in both the film and music fields.

Photo Credit: Stewart Cook/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

The event was sponsored by iHeartMedia and Mediabase, Cîroc French Vanilla, Shutterstock, and BuzzAngle Music. The afternoon was a wonderful gathering of some of the top minds in music including honoree recording artists Kendrick Lamar, DJ KHALED, and Hailee Steinfeld along with Imagine Dragons (Grammy Award-Winning Artists), Diplo (DJ / Recording Artist), Sabrina Carpenter (Recording Artist), Machine Gun Kelly (Recording Artist), Noah Cyrus (Recording Artist), Gaten Matarazzo (Actor, Stranger Things), Poo Bear (Record Producer), NIIA (Recording Artist), Andrew Watt (Recording Artist), Charlie Walk (President, Republic Records Group), Ava Max (Recording Artist), and Kat Graham (Actress, Vampire Diaries). As guests arrived at the Sunset Tower Hotel they were greeted with specialty French 75 and French & Dinner Cîroc French Vanilla cocktails with music by iconic DJ Stretch Armstrong.

The star-studded brunch kicked off with a welcome speech by Variety’s Executive Music Editor,Shirley Halperin welcoming the room of guests that were filled with those featured in this year’s Hitmakers List – chosen from the 30 most consumed songs of 2017 (year-to-date) as compiled byBuzzAngle Music. They included songwriters, producers, A&R executives and influencers: the people who make — and break — the hits!
Jem Aswad, Senior Music Editor for Variety then came to the stage and presented Kendrick Lamar with the Hitmaker of the Year Award. As Kendrick accepted the honor he said “I’ve been doing this for a long time, since I was 13, 14 years old,” Lamar said. “To hone in the title of a hitmaker means a lot because we put a lot of time and a lot of effort [in the studio].” Lamar continued, “I thank each and every one of you for allowing me to evolve and let me make these weird a— songs that y’all like. These songs represent me and who I am. I want to continue to push that envelope and hopefully I continue to have y’all ears to do so.”
Charlie Walk, president of Republic Records — which is named Label of the Year in the Hitmakers issue — also took the stage to present the Variety Crossover Artist Award to label artist and actress Hailee Steinfeld for her successful ventures into the world of music and film. “Being recognized as a crossover artist is a real moment of validation and a personal realization that I am accomplishing what I set out to achieve a very long time ago,” she shared.
To close the ceremony, Alissa Pollack, EVP of Global Music Marketing of iHeartMedia and Marconi Award’s Finalist WOODY, from The Woody Show on ALT 98.7 presented DJ KHALED with the Mediabase POWERPLAYLIST Award honoring his many collaborations that span from Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne.
DJ Khaled was very thankful to receive the Mediabase PowerPlaylist Award stating, “This is the type of cloth talk that we work hard for,” DJ Khaled told the crowd, before detailing how hard he works to nab collaborations with the industry’s top artists. “Every time I see Kendrick, I’m sure he’ll tell you, I whisper in his ear and say, ‘I got something for us,’” he admitted.
Shirley Halperin, Variety executive editor of music received a round of applause as she closed the ceremony, stating, “Let’s make sure that our songwriters and producers and creators are paid adequately, and let’s make sure that they can make a living so that we can have songs in the future.”

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Previously: South Park Demonstrates Hip Hop’s Pop Relevance With Kendrick Lamar & Logic Parodies

Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Variety Hitmakers Brunch [Photos]


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