The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just recently inducted its newest class of Hall of Famers; on November 14 the Songwriters Hall of Fame released its list of nominees for the 2023 class o members.
Among the impressive list of nominees are Rock Hall members Heart, Blondie, and The Doobie Brothers. This year’s nominees include artists from several different genres from hip-hop to Broadway musicals.
There are two categories for induction into the Songwriters Hall – songwriter and performer/songwriter.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to pay homage to the numerous songwriters who work diligently in the background to bring music to the performers and the world. Songwriters become eligible for the Hall of Fame after building a catalog of songs for 20 years.
The new class of Hall of Famers will be inducted on June 15 in New York City for the 54th annual event.
And the nominees are…
The theatrical songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty who are two time Tony Award winners, recipients of the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement, and have been inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Their songwriting catalog includes “Ragtime”, “Once On This Island”, “Seussical”, “Rocky”, “My Favorite Year”, and “Anatasia”.
Glen Ballard is a six time Grammy Award winning songwriter and producer who has penned songs for dozens of artists including Wilson Phillips, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, George Strait, Josh Groban, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Chaka Khan, Andrea Bocelli, Katy Perry, Ringo Starr, George Benson, and Shakira.
Dean Dillon was just 15 when he appeared on the stage at a variety show. Since that time he has earned over two dozen number one hit songs. Dillon is a BMI Icon Award winner and has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Franne Golde has seen her songs sold on over 100 million records including music for Diana Ross, The Commodores, Bruce Springsteen, Selena, the Pussycat Dolls, Jody Watley, and Whitney Houston.
Bobby Hart and Tommy Boyce have penned songs for The Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Jay and the Americans. Their list of hits include the theme song for the television show “The Monkees”.
Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell wrote a number of hit songs from the 60’s including music for Frankie and the Four Seasons and The Monkees.
Roger Nichols had visions of being a basketball star but when the legendary coach John Wooden force Nichols to make a choice between basketball and music, Nichols turned to music and wrote songs for The Carpenters, Art Garfunkel, Barbra Streisand, Three Dog Night, and Paul Anka.
Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham penned some of the biggest hits in the 60’s including music for The Boxtops, Aretha Franklin, and Janis Joplin.
Dean Pitchford was a Broadway performer who turned to writing song lyrics that earned him an Academy and a Golden Globe Awards. The BMI Songwriter of the Year winner’s credits include “Footloose”, “Fame”, “Holding on to a Hero”, and “Let’s Hear it for the Boy”.
Teddy Riley has been credited for the New Jack Swing genre and has penned a number of hits including music for Keith Sweat, Johnny Kemp, Lady Gaga, and most recently has penned music for K-Pop artists.
Grammy Award winning songwriter Liz Rose is a Texas Heritage Songwriter Hall of Fame member who founded Liz Rose Music. She has penned a number of songs with Taylor Swift; and has penned songs for Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Jan + Shay, and Blake Shelton.
Tom Snow has written songs for Barbra Streisnand, Little Feat, Selena, and Ray Charles. He has also penned works for Broadway, film, and television.
The Performing Songwriter nominees are:
Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame member Bryan Adams is the first artists to earn two Diamond Awards in Canada. He has amassed quite a collection of awards including 20 Juno (Canadian Grammys) Awards; as well as, Ivor Novello, MTV, ASCAP, and American Music Awards. He penned the music for the Broadway musical “Pretty Woman”.
Clem Burke, Debbie Harry, and Chris Stein of Blondie have gone beyond songwriting to influence fashion and art in rock music. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band were named the NME Godlike Genius Award in 2014 and have earned a Q Award for their contributions ot music, a Silver Clef Award, and have sold over 50 million albums around the world.
Better known to the world as Snoop Dogg, Calbun Broadus has become an icon in the world of Hip-Hop. His debut album “Doggystyle” debuted in the number one spot on the Billboard 200 Album chart in an era when streaming had not yet been created. A major influence for up and coming Rap artists, Snoop Dogg has sold over 35 million albums around the world.
Tom Johnston, Michael McDonald, and Patrick Simmons of The Doobie Brothers have penned some of the most contagious songs when it comes to memorable rhythms and words “Long Train Running”, “China Grove”, “Black Water”, and “Listen to the Music”. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band has sold over 48 million albums worldwide and has earned four Grammy Awards.
Seven time Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan is also a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and thanks to her songwriting abilities in English and Spanish; as well as, the use of numerous Latin rhythms has made her one of Latin music’s biggest selling artists and songwriter. Along with husband Emile, they formed the Miami Sound Machine and had the world moving to the music of hits like “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”, “Let’s Get Loud”, and “Conga”.
Vince Gill is one of the most celebrated artists in Country music. Prior to going solo he was a part of the group Pure Prairie League. The Nashville Songwriters Association name Gill the Artist of the Decade in the 90’s and is a member of the Nashville Songwriters, Musicians, and the Country Music Halls of Fame. He has also been named the BMI Icon in 2014; and has earned 22 Grammy Awards. Along with recording his own music; he has also seen his music recorded by Eric Clapton, Loretta Lynn, Bad Company, and John Denver. And has collaborated with over 1,000 artists in many genres.
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, better known as Heart saw their self titled album certified five times platinum for selling five million copies (no streaming). The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band was presented with the ASCAP Founder’s Award in 2009.
Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) founded the band. He wrote, arranged, and produced the band’s hit songs. He later co-founded the all star band the Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is also an Officer of the British Empire for his contributions to music in his homeland of Britain.
Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe; better known as REM helped to bring Alternative Rock music to the mainstream with such hits as “Losing My Religion”, “Shiny Happy People”, and “The One I Love”. When it came to writing songs for the band, each of the members shared in the credits. No longer together, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Nigerian born artist Sade Adu has been writing and performing for over 30 years. Her albums have topped music charts the world over. Her trophy case is filled with Grammy, MTV Video Music, and BRIT Awards. Her biggest hits include “Smooth Operator”, “The Sweetest Taboo”, “No Ordinary Love”, and “Is it a Crime”.
Before becoming a hit songwriter and singer, Patti Smith was a poet. She penned her biggest hit “Because the Night” with Bruce Springsteen. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist has also been presented with the Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France’s Ministry of Culture.
Steve Winwood was just 15 years old when he became a member of the Spencer Davis Group. Since those early days he has been a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Traffic, Blind Faith, and a solo artist. His hits include “Higher Love”, “Gimme Some Lovin’”, “I’ma Man”, “Valerie”, and “Roll with It”.