Songwriters Hall of Fame

2018 Honorees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame

concert hall with microphone
The Songwriters Hall of Fame is known for highlighting
some of the best songwriters in the music business.

Unlike the Grammy Awards, which focus on the artists and performers, the Songwriters Hall of Fame gives due credit to the skilled composers and lyric writers working behind the scenes. Even if you don’t personally connect with their music, these artists’ songs can provide you with the inspiration you need to help you write a soulful ballad or a chart-topping mega-hit.

The induction took place on June 14th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Seven artists were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this year, including:

microphone iconBill Anderson

Boasting a rising-star success story worthy of its own Hollywood adaptation, Bill Anderson was just 19 when he penned the chart-topping hit “City Lights” for country musician Ray Price. Over the next few decades, Anderson would go on to write many more award-winning tunes for artists such as Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss, George Strait, eventually earning him a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame — and he’s still writing hits to this day!

microphone iconSteve Dorff

This prolific award-winning songwriter and music composer has five decades of hits under his belt. And while Dorff may be more renowned for his musical contributions to film and television show scores such as Murphy Brown, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Reba, Rocky IV, and Tin Cup, his popular music career is no less impressive with songs recorded by Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson, Dusty Springfield, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Garth Brooks, and Dolly Parton.

microphone iconJermaine Dupri

Songwriters aspiring to write soulful, modern R&B hits take note: Jermaine Dupri has written a number of well-known songs from some of today’s biggest artists, including Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Run DMC, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, and Usher. And only three decades into his career, he no doubt is just getting started!

microphone iconAlan Jackson

Not all songwriters have the luxury of being household names, but Alan Jackson has earned it. Many of country music’s most-beloved songs are thanks to Jackson’s songwriting skill. What’s more, he has the accolades to back it up with 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, and two Grammy Awards.

microphone iconKool & the Gang (Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor)

Anyone who’s ever had reason to “celebrate” should know that Kool & the Gang are the real deal. Since their inception in 1969, Kool & the Gang took their fusion of funk, soul, and jazz to great heights. Though the group has had a number of roster changes over the years, that hasn’t affected their ability to produce unforgettable tracks like “Jungle Boogie,” “Summer Madness,” “Open Sesame,” and, of course, “Celebration.”

microphone iconJohn Mellencamp

Few artists have had the illustrious career that John Mellencamp has. With 35 years of songwriting under his belt, he has over twenty Top 40 hits to his name, and is a Grammy winner and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While his work has helped shape American pop music, Mellencamp’s reputation goes beyond his songwriting skills; his work has directly contributed to social causes such as Farm Aid. Ever the social activist, his most recent work focuses on America’s current political climate.

microphone iconAllee Willis

A song and lyric writer of profound ability, Willis has garnered critical acclaim as a Grammy, Emmy, and Tony award-winning artist. Capable of crafting songs across a range of styles, and tones, her most recognizable songs include “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, and “I’ll Be There for You,” the theme song from the sitcom Friends.

It goes without saying that you should always take inspiration by artists you personally admire. Sometimes it’s helpful to take a cue from professionally recognized songwriters. Try to analyze what made their work successful so that you can apply it to your own.

Looking for more inspiration? Keep your ears open for next year’s honorees into the Songwriting Hall of Fame, or check out our list of:

About us: Foxhedge Music is a management company and recording studio located in historic Leipers Fork. Our mission is to support and encourage songwriters. We believe they are the back-beat of Music City, while we continue to invest our time and resources in the Music City community. Through the Music City SongStar Songwriting Contest, we want to give songwriters a chance to have their music heard. We’re believers in creativity, chasing dreams and getting the chance to pursue your passion. Need inspiration? Explore Secrets to Better Songwriting or How to Sell A Song.

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