Some of our favourite music icons are finally being recognised in the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF), an organisation that celebrates the best in song writing. The annual high-profile awards ceremony takes place today (15 June 2017) in New York and there’s no doubt they’re moving into the 21st century with this latest group of inductees.
A statement from SHOF said: “The songwriters we honour cross genres, regional and even national boundaries – R & B, Rap, Pop and Rock & Roll from both coasts, the American heartland and Sweden. We are thrilled to once more have the opportunity to preside over an event that recognizes the convergence of song craft and musical performance at the very highest level.”
So why are they being recognised?
Jay Z (Shawn Carter)
Since 1996, 21-time Grammy award winner, JAY Z has sold more than 100 million records making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Also, a powerful entrepreneur across the music/entertainment, fashion and sports industries, JAY Z personifies the “American Dream.”
The accomplished lyricist co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995, and dropped his debut album, Reasonable Doubt the following year. It reached number 23 on the Billboard 200 chart and was later included in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”
Babyface (Kenneth Edmonds)
Recognisable as one of the best crooners of the 80s and 90s, 11-time Grammy Award winner, Babyface’s award-winning, multi-faceted pop/urban career includes some of the biggest multi-platinum landmark albums, including Tender Love, For the Cool in You (with signature hits “Never Keeping Secrets” and “When Can I See You”) and The Day (“Every Time I Close My Eyes”).
Along with L.A. Reid, he founded LaFace Records in 1989, going on to nurture the careers of megastars such as TLC, OutKast, Usher and Toni Braxton.
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
The 5-time Grammy winning duo are responsible for some of the most distinctive, memorable and instantly engaging songs over the last three decades. One of the most prolific and successful songwriting/production teams in modern musical history, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have penned hits for music superstars including Michael Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West and many more.
Almost needing no introduction, Berry Gordy is the iconic founder of Motown Records, the hit-making enterprise birthed in 1959, in Detroit, Michigan, that nurtured the careers of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, and many other music greats. Berry was originally nominated for entry into SHOF in 2016, but deferred his induction until this year.