Jay Z makes history with Songwriters Hall of Fame induction

By Drum Digital
23 February 2017

Jay Z is set to become the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

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The Empire State of Mind star, real name Shawn Carter, made history as the first MC nominated for the honour in October (16), during his first year of eligibility, and now he will cement his legacy as part of the Class of 2017.

Singer/producer Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Swedish hitmaker Max Martin, and Chicago stars Robert Lamm, James Pankow, and Peter Cetera, who quit the band in 1985, will also be feted at a ceremony in New York City on 15 June (17).

In addition, Motown mogul Berry Gordy will be in attendance to receive the honour he had deferred from 2016.

"With our 2017 roster of inductees, the Songwriters Hall of Fame moves definitively into recognizing music creators of the 21st century while continuing to honor the greats of earlier decades," Hall of Fame co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and President Linda Moran share in a statement.

"The combination of contemporary sounds and timeless hits of the past is certain to make for an unforgettable evening. The songwriters we honor cross genre, 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."

Previous induction ceremonies saluted the likes of James Brown, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, and Lionel Richie, while Nile Rodgers, Marvin Gaye, Tom Petty, and Elvis Costello were among the Class of 2016.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame, which honours the masters behind the music industry's biggest hits, was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and music publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond.

Nominees are considered for induction if they have been writing hits for at least 20 years.

The nominated artists who missed out on the Songwriters Hall of Fame accolade this year (17) include Madonna, George Michael, Gloria Estefan, Bryan Adams, Kool & the Gang, Cat Stevens, Sly Stone, and Vince Gill.

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