Throughout his decades-long career, Rick Rubin has been a driving force behind some of the most acclaimed albums and artists of our time, from Slayer and Johnny Cash to Adele and Kanye West. With an unparalleled ability to transcend genres and a career dedicated to supporting artists in realizing their full potential, Spotify is honored to have Rick Rubin be the first recipient of the Legendary Genius Award, presented to him by singer-songwriter, Frank Ocean.
Taking place at L.A.’s Vibiana Cathedral, Spotify’s Secret Genius Awards are designed to celebrate the people within the songwriting and producing community that contribute to the creative work behind some of the most streamed songs on Spotify.
As an arbiter of artist discovery and a mastermind behind countless evolutions in music by championing genre-diverse artists such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Dixie Chicks, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J, Adele and many more, Rick Rubin exemplifies the core principles of a “Secret Genius,” an individual possessing talents as impactful to the industry as the superstars they support and foster quietly from behind the scenes.
“There is likely no better person to help us tell the importance of Spotify’s Secret Genius Awards narrative better than Rick Rubin, a true legend to our industry,” said Troy Carter, Global Head of Creator Services, Spotify. “While Rick’s greatness is far from a secret at this stage of his impressive career, he is an inspiration to all the quietly known producers, songwriters, and artists, who are responsible for the music we discover and love every day.”
Rubin has been nominated and taken home the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year several times for his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Dixie Chicks, Neil Diamond, Metallica, Tom Petty, Justin Timberlake, and the late Johnny Cash. He has also been awarded countless other Grammys in categories such as Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Country Album of the Year, Rock Album of the Year, Contemporary Folk Album, and Best Metal Performance.
Rubin’s label Def American, which became American Recordings in 1993 when the word “def” turned up in Webster’s dictionary, has been home to artists including Slayer, Johnny Cash, The Black Crowes, The Avett Brothers, System of a Down, The Jayhawks, ZZ Top, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Danzig.
The Secret Genius Awards are made up of 13 main categories with five nominees each and include Secret Genius of the Year: Producer, Secret Genius of the Year: Songwriter and more. A complete list of Secret Genius Awards nominees can be found here.
For additional information, please visit the Secret Genius Awards FAQ page.