SZA is finally feeling recognized for her songwriting abilities after being presented as this year’s Songwriters Hall of Fame recipient of the Hal David Starlight Award.

During her acceptance speech, the four-time Grammy Award winner shared that the award was significant because “As an artist, I’ve been a lot of different people. I’ve been 200 pounds; I’ve been 130 pounds. I’ve been someone who doesn’t dance at all on stage… to someone who is dancing and trying their best.”

She continued, explaining, “and I think, ‘Oh man, I struggle with the artist thing,’ but writing was where I felt like a person, and I had value and showed that I was smart. It was beyond ‘Am I pretty? Am I Liked?’ and that meant everything to me. It made me feel like a person that was doing something worth something. Basically, receiving this award validates my entire career… Thank you for seeing me.”

Previous honorees include John Legend, Alicia Keys, Ne-Yo, Drake, Benny Blanco, Lil Nas X and Post Malone, to name a few. Recipients were described in a statement released in April as “gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry with their original songs.”

“This is such an exciting time for songwriters and music. Phenomenal artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are pushing the envelope of what success looks like but who could argue that the last two years belong to SZA,” SHOF Chairman Nile Rodgers said in the statement. “Incredible songwriting, incredible performances, incredible artistry. She so deserves to be the 2024 recipient of the Hal David Starlight Award!”

SZA released her three-time platinum album, SOS, in December 2022. The 23-track sophomore effort featured guest appearances from Don Toliver and Travis Scott and hits like “Snooze” and “Kill Bill.” The multifaceted artist told Apple Music that being respected for her pen game was the greatest accolade she could ever achieve.

“I never did it for the bar, I did it for respect,” she said in December 2023. “Like, the accolades are cool, but I was really just doing it for respect to show that I’m smart… letting people know I’m an intelligent person… or that I can write my own lyrics, or that I can make a certain style of song because that’s the goal I wanted to achieve to show I can work my brain that way,” she added. The “Good Days” artist concluded, “The respect was more important to me than the accolades. That is a success to be respected amongst my peers… for who I am.”

Earlier in the year, she teased the release of a deluxe version of SOS that would feel like a whole new body of work. The project was titled LANA, but early leaks of records derailed plans for the rollout.