Photos: Dua Lipa, Jack Harlow, Selena Gomez, H.E.R., Imagine Dragons, and More Attend VARIETY HITMAKERS

The event was hosted by DJ Cassidy on December 3rd.

By: Dec. 04, 2022

On December 3rd, Variety hosted its sixth-annual Hitmakers celebration looking back at the year in music and recognizing the writers, producers, publishers, managers and executives who helped make-and break-the 25 most-consumed songs of the year, as measured by Luminate. Hosted by DJ Cassidy, honorees in attendance included Dua Lipa (Hitmaker of the Year), Imagine Dragons (Group of the Year), Kim Petras (Innovator of the Year), Omar Apollo (TikTok Future Icon Award) and Selena Gomez (Film Song of the Year) with presenters H.E.R., Jack Harlow and Rita Wilson.

TikTok, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Luminate were premier partners of the event. With Variety, TikTok presented a Future Icon award to newly GRAMMY®-nominated Best New Artist Omar Apollo. IHG Hotels & Resorts returned to Hitmakers for the second year and helped brew up a fantastic morning with a craft espresso bar and delicious drinks and talent was able to "Guest like we Guest" with IHG-branded cups. Luminate's CEO Rob Jonas presented the Breakthrough Artist Award at the event. This year's honoree was Latto for her hit single "Big Energy."

Dave Free, co-founder of pgLang, received the first ever Creativity & Impact Award for his work in helping shape culture and community through music and film, namely his work directing Cash App's "That's Money" campaign featuring Kendrick Lamar, Ray Dalio, and EXAVIER TV. Before every show on Lamar's The Big Steppers Tour, the "That's Money" spot played on screens for the arena audiences.

Event Highlights:

Jack Harlow while presenting the Label of the Year Award to Atlantic Records said, " I see a lot of strained relationships between artists and labels, especially in hip hop for various reasons - but I do see a lot of resentment sometimes between artists and their labels. For me personally, I've had disagreements, frustrations, things that I think are naturally within a partnership, but one thing I cannot dispute is that I was given a real chance to develop as an artist. As [Atlantic Records'] new discovery, I was given an incredible team - some of them are present today. I was given a chance to drop mix tapes that made no money. I was given the chance to drop songs I thought were hits and they weren't. And I think we know not every artist was blessed with that type of time, so thank you."

Dua Lipa while accepting the Hitmaker of the Year Award said, "This whole experience with the song ("Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)") has really taken me back to when I first started in the business. I had such big dreams for this year and this career but I never thought that my job would ever take me to a place where I'd be able to get up on stage with Elton at Dodger Stadium and perform a song that means so much to me - a mashup of songs that I've grown up with that have always inspired me. I guess it kind of took me back to little me where I really believed that anything and everything was possible."

Omar Apollo while accepting the TikTok Future Icon Award said, "It's funny to be recognized as a future icon because there was a point in time in life where I didn't think I had a future. Honestly, I've never thought of myself in that way but - we here!"

After an impromptu performance of Naughty By Nature's "Hip Hop Hooray" onstage, Rita Wilson presented Kara DioGuardi with the A&R Award and said, "She (Kara DioGuardi) taught me that songwriting is craft meeting personal experience, to go all in, to hold nothing back, to take chances, to be brave. She taught me to use all those deep feelings and truths that you never want to expose."

Photo Credit: Variety via Getty Images

Photos: Dua Lipa, Jack Harlow, Selena Gomez, H.E.R., Imagine Dragons, and More Attend VARIETY HITMAKERS
Jack Harlow and Dua Lipa

Photos: Dua Lipa, Jack Harlow, Selena Gomez, H.E.R., Imagine Dragons, and More Attend VARIETY HITMAKERS

Photos: Dua Lipa, Jack Harlow, Selena Gomez, H.E.R., Imagine Dragons, and More Attend VARIETY HITMAKERS
Selena Gomez and Dua Lipa

Photos: Dua Lipa, Jack Harlow, Selena Gomez, H.E.R., Imagine Dragons, and More Attend VARIETY HITMAKERS
Wayne Sermon, Daniel Platzman, Dan Reynolds, and Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons

About Variety

Variety is the seminal voice of the entertainment industry. After 117 years of award-winning breaking news reporting, insightful award-season coverage, must-read feature spotlights, and intelligent analysis of the industry's most prominent players, Variety is the most trusted source for the business of global entertainment. Read by a highly engaged audience of industry insiders, aspirants and passionate entertainment enthusiasts, Variety's multi-platform content coverage expands across digital, mobile, social, print, podcasts, branded content, events, and summits.

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IHG Hotels & Resorts [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good. With a family of 17 hotel brands and IHG Rewards, one of the world's largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,000 open hotels in more than 100 countries, and a further 1,800 in the development pipeline.

Luxury & Lifestyle: Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Vignette Collection, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo

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About Luminate

Luminate is the preeminent entertainment data and insights company, unleashing access to the most essential, objective, and trustworthy information across music, film and television, with data compiled from hundreds of verified sources. Today, the company maintains its more than 30-year legacy of accurate storytelling by powering the iconic Billboard music charts, while also acting as the premiere database for the television and film industries. Working closely with record labels, artists, studios, production companies, networks, tech companies, and more, Luminate offers the most valued source of comprehensive, independent, and foundational entertainment data that drives industry forward. Operating independently, Luminate receives investment and support from Penske Media Corporation and Eldridge Industries. For more information visit: