Lin-Manuel Miranda will receive the National Music Publishers’ Association’s (NMPA) Songwriter Icon Award at its 2022 annual meeting, the organization announced Monday (May 23), while the keynote speech will be delivered by Universal Music Group chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge. The annual meeting is being held at Lincoln Center on June 15, marking the first in-person iteration of the event since 2019.
Manuel’s honor this year feels timely, arriving on the heels of his surprising Hot 100 No. 1 hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Disney’s Encanto soundtrack. NMPA president and CEO David Israelite says in a statement that the composer possesses “inimitable style and passion [that] continues to enrich our cultural landscape.” As the first-ever theatrically focused Songwriter Icon recipient, Israelite adds, “his honor is especially meaningful as Broadway rebounds from the unprecedented effects of the pandemic.”
In past years, the top prize has gone to songwriting giants across all different genres, including Taylor Swift, Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Sting, Alicia Keys, Pharrell and Billy Joel. At the annual meeting, Manuel will be paid tribute by yet-to-be-announced contemporaries with special musical performances.
Ahead of Grainge’s keynote address, Israelite said in a statement, “At a time when music is simultaneously growing and facing substantial challenges, we very much look forward to hearing from the man who helms the leading global music company. In taking his company public this year, Sir Lucian once again demonstrated how to deliver on the immense value of what songwriters create, and we look forward to his take on the emerging trends.”
Along with Manuel’s tribute, the annual meeting will spotlight Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” as its NMPA Iconic Song Award recipient. Also on tap is a women-focused publishing panel led by NMPA executive vp and general counsel (and Billboard’s Women in Music Executive of the Year 2018) Danielle Aguirre, alongside UMPG chairman and CEO Jody Gerson, WCM co-chair and COO Carianne Marshall, Reservoir founder and president Golnar Khosrowshahi and Grammy-winning songwriter Autumn Rowe.
Each year, the NMPA annual meeting acts as an industry-wide touch-base about current issues facing music publishers and songwriters and also serves as a space for the organization to announce new initiatives. Last year, Israelite announced a $200 million copyright infringement lawsuit against Roblox for hosting a library of thousands of unlicensed songs within the game and said the organization would push forward with efforts to secure music licenses for Twitch — both of which the NMPA was also able to make headway on within a few months.
This year’s annual meeting will kick off with a performance by unsigned singer-songwriter Madilyn Bailey, while Israelite will discuss the ongoing Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) battle, among other key concerns.