Benny Blanco
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Benny Blanco
Benny Blanco
Benny Blanco in his studio, 2015
Background information
Benjamin Levin
Born (1988-03-08) March 8, 1988 (age 30)
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.[1] 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.[2]

In July 2018, Blanco released the song "Eastside" under his own name, a collaboration with Halsey and Khalid.[3]

Life and career

Career beginnings

Blanco, a Jewish[4] native of Virginia,[5] 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.[6] 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 eventually secured an apprenticeship with producer Disco D after countless trips to New York City from his home in Virginia to meet with labels and producers.[6]


Blanco was mentored for several years by songwriter and producer Dr. Luke, who signed Blanco to his publishing company Prescription Songs.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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."[10]

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.

Blanco was named Producer of the Year at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards.[11]

Record labels

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).[12][13]

Artist projects

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.[14] Further music from Blanco is slated for release in 2018.[15]


As lead artist

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
(with Khalid and Halsey)
2018 44 4
26 39 3
4 Non-album single

Songwriting and production discography

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.[27]

Awards and nominations

BMI Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
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

Golden Globe Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2016 "Faith" (Stevie Wonder ft. Ariana Grande) Best Original Song Nominated

Grammy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2011 Teenage Dream Album of the Year Nominated [28]
2013 "Heart Attack" Best R&B Song Nominated
2015 x Album of the Year Nominated
2017 Purpose 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

iHeartRadio Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2017 "Love Yourself" (Justin Bieber) Best Lyrics Won
Benny Blanco Producer of the Year Won
2018 Benny Blanco Producer of the Year Nominated

Ivor Novello Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2018 "Castle on the Hill" (Ed Sheeran) PRS for Most Performed Work[29] Nominated

Songwriters Hall of Fame

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 Benny Blanco Hal David Starlight Award Won



  1. ^ "Hal David Starlight Award Winner: Benny Blanco". Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ "Universal Music Group Artists, Distributed Labels Draw Numerous Grammy Nominations..." Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ "Producer Benny Blanco Teases New Track Featuring Halsey & Khalid". Retrieved 2018. 
  4. ^ Insanul, Ahmed (Apr 8, 2011). "Interview: Benny Blanco On Producing Wiz Khalifa's "No Sleep"". Complex. Retrieved 2017. 
  5. ^ McVeigh, Alex (January 26, 2014). "Reston Native Benny Blanco Wins Grammy For Work on Rihanna Album". Retrieved 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Lipschutz, Jason (May 10, 2010). "Virginia native becomes an in-demand producer at 22". Retrieved 2017. 
  7. ^ McKinley Jr., James (January 4, 2013). "Only 24, and at Home in the Top 10". New York Times. Retrieved 2017. 
  8. ^ Barshad, Amos (October 12, 2011). "Benny Blanco's Six-Step Plan for Becoming Superproducer at 23". Retrieved 2017. 
  9. ^ "Hal David Starlight Award". Retrieved 2017. 
  10. ^ "Sting, Billy Joel, Smokey Robinson Perform As Legends Inducted Into Songwriters Hall of Fame". Associated Press. June 14, 2013. 
  11. ^ Thorpe, Isha (March 5, 2017). "Here's The Complete List Of #iHeartAwards Winners". Retrieved 2017. 
  12. ^ School Boy/Giant Little Man/Mad Love/Interscope Records. "School Boy/Giant Little Man/Mad Love/Interscope Records Sign U.K. Newcomers Rixton". Retrieved 2017. 
  13. ^ "Tory Lanez Premieres "Say It," Announces Deal With Benny Blanco". March 5, 2014. Retrieved 2017. 
  14. ^ "Hear Benny Blanco, Halsey, Khalid Team for Bittersweet 'Eastside'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018. 
  15. ^ "How Benny Blanco Became the Most Popular Oddball in Pop Music". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018. 
  16. ^ "Benny Blanco - Chart History: Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2018. 
  17. ^ "Benny Blanco - Chart History: Australia Chart History". Retrieved 2018. 
  18. ^ "Benny Blanco - Chart History: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2018. 
  19. ^ "Benny Blanco - Chart History: Chart History". Retrieved 2018. 
  20. ^ "Benny Blanco - Chart History: New Zealand Chart History". Retrieved 2018. 
  21. ^ "Benny Blanco - Chart History: Sweden Chart History". Retrieved 2018. 
  22. ^ Peak chart positions in the UK:
  23. ^ "Eastside - Single by benny blanco, Halsey & Khalid on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2018. 
  24. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. August 20, 2018. Retrieved 2018. 
  25. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. August 13, 2018. Retrieved 2018. 
  26. ^ "Sverigetopplistan - Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2018. 
  27. ^ "Benny Blanco Credits". Retrieved 2017. 
  28. ^ "Benny Blanco | Artist". Recording Academy. Retrieved 2018. 
  29. ^ "Ivor Novellos 2018: Ed Sheeran goes up against himself". Retrieved 2018. 

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