A day after the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame announced its class of 2020, the Songwriters Hall Of Fame has done the same. In both cases, the list is headlined by an iconic diva: While Whitney Houston is posthumously entering the Rock Hall, the resurgent Mariah Carey will be inducted into the SHOF.
Others joining the Songwriters Hall at this year’s 6/11 ceremony in New York include synth-pop legends Eurythmics (Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart), soul-funk-R&B heroes the Isley Brothers (specifically Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, and Chris Jasper), veteran hit-maker Rick Nowels, foundational Motown figure William “Mickey” Stevenson, and my personal favorite of this bunch, genius production duo the Neptunes, aka Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo.
A press release explains, “A songwriter with a notable catalog of songs qualifies for induction 20 years after the first significant commercial release of a song.” In the same release, Chic’s Nile Rodgers, who is chairman of the SHOF, writes, “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. I am very proud that we are recognizing some of the culturally most important songwriters of all time and that the 2020 slate of inductees represents diversity and unity across genres, ethnicity and gender, writers who have enriched our lives and in their time literally transformed music and helped make it what it is today.”
The SHOF’s 51st annual ceremony will be held 6/11 at Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Tickets cost a whopping $1,750, and you have to make a phone call to buy them (dial 914-579-1000 for Buckley Hall Events). Below, enjoy a classic song from each of these songwriters.
The Isley Brothers:
William “Mickey” Stevenson: