How SZA Became the Hitmaker of the Year and Why She’s Not Slowing Down

SZA is named Hitmaker of the Year and Olivia Rodrigo, Metro Boomin and Boygenius are among the top honorees at Variety’s seventh annual Hitmakers celebration.

The Nov. 29 issue and accompanying event look back at the year in music and recognize the writers, producers, publishers, managers and executives who helped make — and break — the 25 most-consumed songs of the year, as measured by Billboard and Luminate Charts.

Jacob Webster

Hitmakers culminates with an invitation-only brunch held on Saturday, Dec. 2, presented by Sony Audio (Sony Corporation’s audio division) and its “For the Music” brand platform and campaign.

“The goal of Hitmakers always has been to honor the top artists and songs of the year, and especially the people behind them,” said Variety executive music editor Jem Aswad.

“SZA, her ‘SOS’ album and tour, and her hits this year are not only a creative and commercial triumph, but one with a reach that stretches far beyond the music world. We are so proud to honor her as our Hitmaker of the Year, and to honor Olivia Rodrigo, Metro Boomin, Maren Morris and more.”

At the event, Sony will celebrate the recent launch of “For the Music” by showcasing its 360 Reality Audio immersive music experience with an exclusive listening lounge.

“For the Music” focuses on putting creator vision over everything to benefit music fans and empowering artists through its premier audio products and services.

The 2023 Hitmakers program includes the following awards selected by Variety’s editorial team:

SZA – Hitmaker of the Year

Olivia Rodrigo – Storyteller of the Year

Boygenius – Group of the Year

Metro Boomin – Producer of the Year

Mark Ronson – Soundtrack of the Year

Billie Eilish and FINNEAS – Film Song of the Year: “What Was I Made For”

Maren Morris – Changemaker of the Year

Republic Records – Label of the Year

Grammy Museum President and CEO Michael Sticka– Music Education and Advocacy Leadership Award presented by City National Bank

“Sony Audio’s ‘For the Music’ brand platform strives to support and empower creative excellence through our products and services.

We’re honored to collaborate with Variety on Hitmakers in celebrating musicians that have embodied the highest levels of music creativity (and commercial success) in 2023, which include current Sony Audio collaborators such as Olivia Rodrigo and SZA,” said Jordy Freed, director and head of brand and business development for personal entertainment business at Sony Corporation of America.

This year’s event sponsors include presenting sponsor Sony and premier sponsor City National Bank.

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