This year’s nominations for the Songwriters Hall of Fame have been announced. Among the nominees are reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, country superstar Vince Gill, singer-songwriter Yusuf (aka Cat Stevens), Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey, The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, ELO frontman Jeff Lynne and Eurythmics duo Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart.
Other artists and songwriters nominated this year include John Prine, Lloyd Price and Tommy James. Non-performing nominees are Jack Tempchin, Dean Dillon, Jerry Fuller, Tom T. Hall, Roger Nichols and Dallas Austin, who wrote hits for TLC, Madonna, Monica, Pink and Boyz II Men.
Missy Elliott’s inclusion marks the first time a female rapper has been nominated to the Songwriters Hall of Fame; last year, Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri became the first rappers to be inducted. Drake was honored with the organization’s Hal David Starlight Award, which recognizes new talent, in 2011.
Often praised for her wild, colorful style and playful lyricism, Elliott has been one of pop music’s most sought producers and songwriters, in addition to creating her own well-known hits, from “Get Ur Freak On” to “Work It” to “Lose Control.”
Nominated non-performing songwriting duos include P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, Russell Brown and the late Irwin Levine, musical theater writers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore, Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, Bobby Hart and the late Tommy Boyce.
Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years. Six songwriters, or songwriting groups, will be officially inducted at the Hall’s 50th annual Induction & Awards Gala in New York on 13 June 2019. Eligible members can vote for three non-performing songwriters and three performing songwriters until 17 December. The final inductees will be announced in forthcoming months.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates and honors the contributions of our great popular music songwriters, while developing new writing talent through workshops, showcases, scholarships, and digital initatives.