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Benny Blanco in his studio, 2015
|Born||March 8, 1988|
|Origin||Reston, Virginia, U.S.|
Benjamin Levin (born March 8, 1988), known professionally as Benny Blanco (stylised as benny blanco), is an American record producer, songwriter, musician and recipient of the 2013 Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a five-time BMI Songwriter of the Year award winner and 2017 iHeartRadio Producer of the Year award winner.
As a producer and songwriter, Blanco is responsible for more than 100 million album sales worldwide due to his work with artists including Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Kesha, Sia, The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West among others. He is also the founder of two labels in collaboration with Interscope Records, Mad Love Records and Friends Keep Secrets.
Blanco, a Jewish native of Virginia, began by producing hip-hop instrumentals in his bedroom and recording his own vocals on top of them. His first serious exposure to music came in 1994 when he was 6 years old with the cassette singles Aqua's "Barbie Girl" and Bryan Adams' "All for Love", which heavily influenced his early productions. After early experiments with beat making and recording himself on his boombox, Blanco's rapping earned the attention of The Source and executives at Columbia Records. At age 14, Blanco was introduced to producer P. Andredi, and spent many months in his VA basement studio collaborating and working to perfect his craft.
Blanco was mentored for several years by songwriter and producer Dr. Luke, who signed Blanco to his publishing company Prescription Songs. While under Dr. Luke's tutelage, Blanco co-produced and co-wrote many songs, including hits such as Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream", Kesha's "TiK ToK". and Taio Cruz's "Dynamite".
In 2011 Blanco wrote and produced his first charting hits without Dr. Luke, among them Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger", Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts" and 3OH!3's "Don't Trust Me". The same year, Blanco went on to work on Maroon 5's Platinum-selling album Overexposed and its lead single "Payphone" featuring Wiz Khalifa.
On June 13, 2013, Blanco was presented with the Hal David Starlight Award at the 44th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony, an honor awarded to young artists who have already made an impression on the music industry. In his acceptance speech, he joked, "They picked the wrong person, I'm in a room with people I should probably be serving food to."
In the years since, Blanco has amassed 26 total number-one songs and is recognized for his achievements with Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Miguel, Halsey, Camila Cabello and many more.
In 2014, Blanco founded two imprint labels under Interscope Records: Mad Love Records and Friends Keep Secrets. Mad Love's releases to date include Tory Lanez, Cashmere Cat, Ryn Weaver, and the band Rixton, with many of these acts having been initially signed to Blanco's development imprint Friends Keep Secrets, which is still home to Jessie Ware and BenZel (Blanco's own artist project with Two Inch Punch).
In 2007, Blanco teamed up with Baltimore rapper Spank Rock to release Spank Rock and Benny Blanco Are...Bangers & Cash, a collaborative EP for both artists based on 2 Live Crew samples that caught the attention of many in the industry and sparked connections to future collaborators Amanda Blank and Santigold. The EP received acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and more.
In July 2018, Blanco released his debut song as a standalone solo artist, "Eastside" featuring Halsey and Khalid, on his own label Friends Keep Secrets in partnership with Interscope Records. Further music from Blanco is slated for release in 2018.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
(with Khalid and Halsey)
Blanco has written and produced songs for artists including Ed Sheeran ("Don't" and "Castle on the Hill"), Justin Bieber ("Love Yourself"), Major Lazer ("Cold Water"), Maroon 5 ("Moves Like Jagger", "Don't Wanna Know", "Payphone", "Maps", "Animals"), Katy Perry ("Teenage Dream", "California Gurls"), Rihanna ("Diamonds"), Kesha ("TiK ToK"), Taio Cruz ("Dynamite"), Wiz Khalifa ("Work Hard, Play Hard"), Gym Class Heroes ("Stereo Hearts"), Tory Lanez ("Luv") and many more.
|2011||Benny Blanco||Songwriter of the Year||Won|
|2012||Benny Blanco||Songwriter of the Year||Won|
|"Moves Like Jagger" (Maroon 5)||Most Performed Pop Song||Won|
|2013||Benny Blanco||Urban Songwriter of the Year||Won|
|2014||Benny Blanco||Songwriter of the Year||Won|
|2016||"Faith" (Stevie Wonder ft. Ariana Grande)||Best Original Song||Nominated|
|2011||Teenage Dream||Album of the Year||Nominated|||
|2013||"Heart Attack"||Best R&B Song||Nominated|
|2015||x||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|"Love Yourself"||Song of the Year||Nominated|
|"Luv"||Best R&B Song||Nominated|
|Self||Producer of the Year, Non-Classical||Nominated|
|2018||"Issues"||Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2017||"Love Yourself" (Justin Bieber)||Best Lyrics||Won|
|Benny Blanco||Producer of the Year||Won|
|2018||Benny Blanco||Producer of the Year||Nominated|
|2018||"Castle on the Hill" (Ed Sheeran)||PRS for Most Performed Work||Nominated|
|2013||Benny Blanco||Hal David Starlight Award||Won|