Levin in 2018
|Birth name||Benjamin Joseph Levin|
|Born||March 8, 1988|
|Origin||Reston, Virginia, U.S.|
Benjamin Joseph Levin (born March 8, 1988), known professionally as Benny Blanco (stylized as benny blanco), is an American record producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is the 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, and Kanye West. He is also the founder of two labels in collaboration with Interscope Records, Mad Love Records and Friends Keep Secrets.
In July 2018, Blanco released the song "Eastside" under his own name, a collaboration with Halsey and Khalid, followed by "I Found You" with Calvin Harris, "Better to Lie" with Jesse and Swae Lee, "Roses" with Juice WRLD and Brendon Urie, and culminated in the release of his first album later in the same year.
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 5 years old with Nas' "The World Is Yours" and All-4-One's "I Swear" on cassette tapes, 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.
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 artists including Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Miguel, Halsey, and Camila Cabello.
In 2014, Blanco founded two imprint labels under Interscope Records, Mad Love Records and Friends Keep Secrets. Mad Love's releases to date include the following artists, with many of them having been initially signed to Blanco's development imprint Friends Keep Secrets:
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. Later in 2018, he released his second, third, and fourth singles, "I Found You" with Calvin Harris, "Better to Lie" with Jesse and Swae Lee, "Roses" with Juice Wrld and Brendon Urie. His debut album Friends Keep Secrets was released on December 7, 2018.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
(with Khalid and Halsey)
|2018||17||2||6||2||15||1||3||1||7||1||Friends Keep Secrets|
|"I Found You"
(with Calvin Harris)
|"Better to Lie"
(with Swae Lee and Jesse Rutherford)
(with Juice Wrld featuring Brendon Urie)
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
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"), and Tory Lanez ("Luv").
|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|
|2018||Benny Blanco||Secret Genius: Pop||Won|
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