Dallas Austin, Missy Elliott, Tom T. Hall, John Prine, Jack Tempchin and Cat Stevens (a.k.a. Yusuf Islam) will become the latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 50th annual Induction and Awards Dinner, taking place June 13 at its location for decades, the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York’s Times Square. Additional special award honorees will be announced soon.
One of the great things about the Songwriters Hall of Fame is that, naturally enough, it’s always about the songs, so every year it inducts superstars alongside lesser-known people who write superstar-level songs, and 2019 is no exception: Globally recognized figures including Elliott (who is also the first female rapper to join the SHOF thanks to such hits as“The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” “Work It,” “Get Ur Freak On”) and Stevens (“Wild World,” “Moonshadow”) are being inducted with legendary singer-songwriters who penned hits for themselves and others — Prine (“Angel From Montgomery,” “Paradise”) and Hall (“I Love,” “Harper Valley PTA”) — and behind-the-scenes hitmakers like Austin (TLC’s “Unpretty,” Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine”) and Tempchin (the Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” Glenn Frey’s “You Belong to the City”).
Having said that, the ceremony delivers superstar talent, often in completely unique settings, every year: Last year Neil Diamond, Ariana Grande, John Mellencamp and Usher were among the performers and Mariah Carey gave a hilarious speech inducting Jermaine Dupri; in 2011 the show ended with Billy Joel and Garth Brooks singing a duet in matching black cowboy hats. (Head here for a full recap of last year’s show and more on the annual ceremony.)
Regarding this year’s inductees, SHOF chairman (and hit songwriter-producer and Chic co-founder) Nile Rodgers said, “The first thing you need to know is it’s about the song, the second thing you need to know is it’s about the song, the third thing you need to know is it’s about the song.
“That’s true now more than ever, so I’m very proud that in my first year as chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame that we are recognizing some of the culturally most important songwriters of all time. The 2019 slate of inductees represents diversity and unity across genres and gender, highlighting our dedicated mission to honor music creators who have enriched our lives. These are writers who in their time literally transformed music and helped make what’s happening today possible.”
For more information on the show, the organization and ticket sales, go to https://www.songhall.org/