The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honours the musicians for their contributions to music over the years. The Songwriters Hall of Fame honours the songwriters who create the music. A songwriter or songwriting duo or group becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame 20 years after penning their first hit song.
The Songwriters Hall have released the list of writers who have been nominated for the 2020 class. From the 24 songwriters nominated, six writers or writing groups will be chosen for induction into the Hall of Fame on June 11 in New York City.
The 2020 Songwriter Hall of Fame nominees are:
Musical theater writers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty who are known for music from the Broadway productions “Ragtime”, “Once On This Island”, “Anastasia”, “Seussical”, and “Rocky”.
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart are known for music by Jay and the Americans, The Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and their own work.
L. Russell Brown and Irwin Levine wrote some of Tony Orlando and Dawn’s biggest hits and penned songs for the Four Seasons.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sonny Curtis was a member of Buddy Holly’s band The Crickets and took over the vocals after the death of Holly. Along with writing some of the songs by The Crickets, Curtis also wrote for Bobby Vee, Andy Williams, and Keith Whitley.
Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan began writing music together in 1978 after signing on to Pi-Gem Music Publishing separately. They wrote hit songs for Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, and Sylvia. Both writers were inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame separately.
Jerry Fuller had a solo music career; as well as, writing hits for Ricky Nelson and Gary Puckett and The Union Gap.
Tony Macaulay is an award winning English songwriter who wrote music for The Foundations, Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies, Edison Lighthouse, and The Fortunes.
Bob McDill penned songs for Perry Como and Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, Don Williams, Anne Murray, The Kendalls, Alan Jackson and Bobby Bare. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer wrote a song a week for 30 years.
The Neptunes – Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo – are songwriters and producers wrote for Wreckx-N-Effect’s, Mase, Jay Z, Usher, Britney Spears, and Nelly.
Roger Nichols is a former UCLA basketball player turned songwriter wrote songs for The Carpenters, Art Garfunkel, Barbra Streisand, and Three Dog Night. Nichols also co-wrote the Paul Anka hit song “Times of Your Life”.
Rick Nowels has been writing music since the age of 13. The Grammy Award winning songwriter has penned or co-wrote over 60 top 20 hits including songs for Belinda Carlile, Stevie Nicks, Madonna, Dido, Santana with Michelle Branch, John Legend, New Radicals, Jewel, Colbie Caillat, Jamie xx, and Dua Lipa. He has also collaborated with Lana Del Ray, Adele, Sia Nelly Furtado, Alessia Cara, and Tom Odell.
William “Mickey” Stevenson is a Motown A&R director turned songwriter who has written for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.
Having co-written 17 of her 18 hit songs, Mariah Carey makes her second trip to the list of nominees. She has collaborated with Gavin Christopher, Ben Margulies, Walter Afanasieff, David Cole, Robert Clivillés, Jermaine Dupri, Sean Combs, Kamaal Fareed, David Foster, Diane Warren, Bryan-Michael Cox, Babyface, Jay-Z and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Gloria Estefan is the force behind the hit songs for the Latin Pop group The Miami Sound Machine including the music for the hit Broadway musical “On Your Feet”, “Anything for You”, “Words Get in the Way”, “Rythm is Gonna Get You”, and “Don’t Wanna Los You Now”.
David Gates was more than the founder, keyboard player, and singer for the soft rock band Bread, he wrote many of the band’s hit songs “Baby I’m-a Want You”, “Diary”, “Everything I Own”, “If:, and “Make It With You”.
Award winning country music star Vince Gill began his songwriting career when he was a part of Pure Prairie League and has continued as a solo artist. The Country Music Association Award and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame artist is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and has been named the Nashville Songwriters Association International Songwriter and Artist of the Decade for 1990-1999.
The Isley Brothers – Ernie Isley, Marving Isely, O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, and Chris Jasper – had their first songwriting hit with “Shout” by Lulu in 1959. It wasn’t until 1964 that they had their first original hit and have continued to write hit songs .
Journey – Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, and Neal Schon – are more than members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Each of the band’s core members participated in crafting some of the band’s biggest hits including “Wheel in the Sky”, “Don’t Stop Believin’”, “Who’s Crying Now”, “Open Arms”, “Separate Ways”, and “Faithfully”.
The Eurythmics – Annie Lennox and David Stewart – created their own sound with their songwriting, songwriting that also brought them some major hits including “Here Comes The Rain Again”, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”, “Would I Lie To You”, “Missionary Man”, and “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves”.
Mike Love is already a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his band mates The Beach Boys. Love and fellow Beach Boy Brian Wilson penned a number of the band’s hit songs and gave rise to the “California surf music”. The Mike Love catalog of songs includes “California Girls”, “Good Vibrations”, “Help Me Rhonda”, “I Get Around, and “Fun, Fun, Fun”.
As the leader of his own band, Steve Miller has crafted numerous chart topping pop rock songs including “The Joker”, “Take the Money and Run”, “Rock’n Me”, “Fly Like an Eagle”, “Living in the USA”, and “Abracadabra”.
Outkast – Andre 3000 and Big Boi helped to bring Hip-Hop music to the mainstream with chart topping hits the world over. The award winning duo’s hits include “Hey Ya!”, “So Fresh”, “So Clean”, “The Way You Move”, “Ms. Jackson”, and “B.O.B.”.
R.E.M. – Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe –took the Georgia band out of the alternative rock world and brought them into mainstream music with their hit songs including “Losing My Religion”, “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It”, “Stand”, “Everybody Hurts”, and “Man On The Moon”.
Patti Smith began her songwriting career as a poet. Since those early days she has been a major influence on a nunmber of artists including Madonna, U2, Michael Stipe and Courtney Love. Smith has been awarded France’s Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Polar Music Prize, and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
feature photo taken from the Songwriters Hall of Fame Facebook page