A look at 2023’s Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees
With all the awards that are given out each year to individuals in the creative community, it’s easy to let some nominations or ceremonies slip under the radar. The Recording Academy’s Grammy Awards festivities, for one, tend to overshadow many other annual music happenings.
One of the most important musical events, for example, is something that you might not have even heard of. It is the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction. The individuals recognized at this ceremony write the soundtrack of your life. They help you get through the low points and celebrate the victories. Without them, there would be no songs. As a reminder of their invaluable contributions, we’re going to take a quick look at this year’s inductees.
What is the Songwriters Hall of Fame?
The Songwriters Hall of Fame was established in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond. The intent was to spotlight the accomplishments of songwriters who have created the world’s most beloved songs. Besides celebrating accomplishments, the organization is dedicated to nurturing up-and-coming writers through a variety of forums, scholarships and initiatives.
One aspect that makes the Songwriters Hall of Fame so special is that inductees do not have to be artists or even play a musical instrument, such as a keyboard or a guitar. This means there are many inductees who you might not know by name, you only recognize their music. This is why some in the media and the music industry have dubbed this the most important music event of the year.
Nile Rodgers, current Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, stated in a recent press announcement that, “The music industry does not exist without songwriters delivering great songs first. Without them, there is no recorded music, no concert business, no merch . . . nothing. It all starts with the song and the songwriter. We are, therefore, very proud that we are continually recognizing some of the culturally most important songwriters of all time and that the 2023 slate represents, not just iconic songs, but also diversity and unity across genres, ethnicity and gender, songwriters who have enriched our lives and, in their time, literally transformed music and the lives of billions of listeners all over the world.”
How are inductees selected?
While the specifics of who makes the cut are not detailed, the Songwriters Hall of Fame has revealed that it inducts a slate of songwriters each year by a vote of the membership. To be considered, a songwriter must have a notable catalog of material that spans back at least 20 years.
Some of the 400 inductees include Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Smokey Robinson, Paul Williams, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren, Carole Bayer Sager, Stevie Wonder, Toby Keith, Max Martin, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Berry Gordy and many others.
Who are the 2023 inductees?
This year is the organization’s 52nd Annual Induction and Awards Gala. The seven inductees are Sade Adu, aka, Sade, Glen Ballard, Calvin Broadus, Jr., aka, Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan, Jeff Lynne, Teddy Riley and Liz Rose. The event will take place on Thursday, June 15 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Special award honorees will be announced before the gala.
Top albums from this year’s Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees
Sade’s career has spanned over 30 years. She has won Grammy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and a Brit Award. This collection of songs includes 16 timeless tracks, including “The Sweetest Taboo,” “Smooth Operator” and more. Sold by Amazon (vinyl) and Target (CD)
Glen Ballard has written for a vast collection, including Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Aerosmith, Katy Perry, Ringo Starr and more. However, he might be best known for his groundbreaking work with Alanis Morissette on “Jagged Little Pill.” Sold by Amazon and Target
You name it, and Snoop Dogg has probably done it. He is a rapper, a singer, a songwriter, an actor, a record producer, a DJ and more. The Masterpiece was originally released in 2004, and features the iconic “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” Sold by Amazon, Best Buy and Target
Gloria Estefan is an international superstar. She has sold over 100 million records worldwide and won eight Grammy Awards. This greatest hits offering has “Conga,” “Get On Your Feet,” “Coming Out of The Dark” and many more. Sold by Amazon and Target
Jeff Lynne wrote, arranged and produced nearly all of ELO’s hits. His catalog includes songs such as “Mr. Blue Sky,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Evil Woman” and “Telephone Line.” “From Out of Nowhere” is this prolific artist’s latest release. Sold by Amazon and Target
Teddy Riley didn’t just write songs, he created a whole new genre called New Jack Swing by fusing hip-hop and R&B. Although he worked with Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Stevie Wonder and more, he is also responsible for “No Diggity,” which featured Dr. Dre, sold 1.6 million copies and won a Grammy. You can hear that song on this album. Sold by Amazon
Liz Rose is the most iconic songwriter you don’t know. She has a remarkable ability to write tracks that really resonate with the listener. Besides Tim McGraw, Allison Krauss, Blake Shelton, LeeAnn Womack and Bonnie Raitt, her biggest claim to fame is co-writing 16 songs with Taylor Swift. Sold by Target
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