With the cast of up-front and behind-the-scenes personalities being honored or presenting at Variety‘s Hitmakers, presented by Peacock & Girls5eva. it was hard to pick out highlights. But if we could get Jack Harlow talking about the last award he won before being named Variety’s Hitmaker of Tomorrow (spoiler: he was in the second grade!), or decade award winner Lana Del Rey telling us who is tops on her bucket list of future collaborators (spoiler: only one of them is in his 80s!), those have to go to the top.

Here are five memorable takeaways from the weekend’s star-studded event pulled from the Variety “On the Carpet” show presented by Amazon Music.

Jack Harlow Credits The Time He Spent In Hogwarts With Making Him The Rapper He Is Today

Variety’s Hitmaker of Tomorrow Jack Harlow credits Harry Potter for stoking his voracious reading habit, and making him the celebrated writer he is today. While accepting the award for his recent (and future) work Harlow revealed this is the first award he has won since he dominated a reading challenge in elementary school.

The musician launched into the story on stage, “The bigger more challenging the book, the more points you earned. I read every book I could find. I read all the Harry Potter books. Boy, those Harry Potter books are worth some points.” Harlow revealed that this early contest fed his competitive side, “It was a competition and it brought out the competitor in me, which is a big part of the genre I’m in. All that reading is what made me the writer I am now, and I’m pretty sure it’s what’s going to make me the Hitmaker of Tomorrow. So thank you so much, I really appreciate y’all.” Watch his full speech above.

Hans Zimmer Is Already Working On The Score For ‘Dune Part 2’

Variety’s 2021 composer of the year, Hans Zimmer, presented the film song of the year award to his collaborators Billie Eilish and Finneas for their work on the James Bond title track “No Time To Die.” But while he was there celebrating their success, his mind was already on another huge studio project, “Dune Part 2.” The Oscar-winning composer wasn’t entirely sure he’d have the chance to make more sweet spice music. “We got a bit scared. When suddenly went to HBO [Max] we thought we weren’t going to make the box office. We thought we’d never make a part 2, so we were very relieved. When do I start working on it? I think I never stopped, does that make sense? It’s always at the top of my mind. I know what’s going to happen and I love this project, I love Denis [Villeneuve]. This isn’t just me this is truly a collaborative effort.”

BTS Sends a Heartfelt Message Via Video

Though BTS couldn’t be at Hitmakers in person, the Grammy-nominated K-pop group sent over an earnest video speech thanking Variety for awarding “Butter” record of the year. “’Butter’ holds a very special place in our heart,” RM said during their acceptance speech. “During these uncertain and turbulent times with the pandemic, we took time to look back on our past and present and decided to release ‘Butter’ in hopes of lifting spirits. The song became an anchor for us to enjoy what we can now and keep moving forward. We just finished our first in-person concert we longed for in two years, especially since the pandemic and this feels truly like the beginning of our new chapter.”

Chloe Bailey’s Sweet Speech for Lil Nas X

Also providing one of the best speeches of the event was Chloe Bailey, who presented the innovator of the year award to Lil Nas X. Rocking a sparkly long-sleeve dress, Bailey shared some sweet words about her friend. “There could not be a more appropriate honor for Lil Nas X. He has embodied the spirit of courage while also representing the culture authentically and beautifully. Maybe once in a generation an artist comes along and literally changes the world for the better,” Bailey said. “By being exactly who he is and commanding attention, by creating a universe that is both undeniable and exceptionally entertaining, he’s kicked in the door.” The two shared a hug as Nas walked on stage to accept his award. “I’m sorry, that speech?!” Nas said, adding: “You inspire me too. I love you.”

In Her Next Decade, Lana Del Rey Would Love to Work With Migos… and Dylan

Lana Del Rey was receiving a Decade Award for 10 years of recordings from Variety, but on the red carpet, she said she feels like it’s been twice that. “To be singing in public for 10 years is amazing,” Del Rey said, but “I was singing in clubs for seven years before that, so for me, it’s been like a 20-year thing.” Asked what guidance she would give herself if she could revisit her younger self, Del Rey talked about “turning criticism into something that you can reflect upon and understand why certain things are being reflected back to you, and learn from it and apply it to your family history and understand how to grow outside of music life. I always say, how free do you want to be? To me it takes a lot, especially when there’s a lot of opinion. I’m very sensitive.” On a lighter note, who would she most love to collaborate with? “Migos. I love them. Everything they do.… There was a new revolution of sound 11 years ago in the singer/songwriter community, which I love seeing. Then with Migos, I think they kicked off a new super fun, super autobiographical, completely different style of rap.” But hold on… she wasn’t done naming her wish list! “Bob – love ya,” she added. “I don’t even have to say the last name.” But she did just in case: “That’s Dylan.”

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