Rap Joins the Songwriters Hall; Jay Z to be Inducted Along With Martin, Babyface, Gordy, Jam & Lewis & Chicago Trio

by VVN Music

The day was eventually going to come. Rap has been an accepted part of the music mainstream for over 35 years and there had to eventually be a songwriter from the genre to make it into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Jay Z would be that groundbreaking act with his name included on this year's induction list.

Overall, it is an unusually strong list for the 2017 induction including (along with representative songs):

Performing Songwriters
  • Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter
    • Umbrella
    • Crazy in Love
    • Baby Boy
  • Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm & James Pankow (Chicago)
    • If You Leave Me Now (Cetera)
    • Hard to Say I'm Sorry (Cetera)
    • 25 or 6 to 4 (Lamm)
    • Saturday in the Park (Lamm)
    • Just You 'N' Me (Pankow)
    • Old Days (Pankow)
Non-Performing Songwriters
  • Kenneth "Babyface" Edmunds
    • We Belong Together
    • I'll Make Love To You
    • The End of the Road
  • Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
    • That's the Way Love Goes
    • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On
    • All For You
  • Max Martin
    • Shake It Off
    • California Gurls
    • Since U Been Gone
In terms of shear volume of hits, Max Martin is the clear leader among these five inductees. While his catalog does not go back as far as most of the others, his hits includes the three songs mentioned above plus the following top tens:
  • Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)
  • Do You Know (What It Takes)
  • Everybody (Backstreet's Back)
  • As Long As You Love Me
  • Show Me Love
  • ...Baby One More Time
  • I Want It That Way
  • (You Drive Me) Crazy
  • That's the Way It Is
  • Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely
  • Oops! I Did It Again
  • It's Gonna Be Me
  • Shape Of My Heart
  • Behind These Hazel Eyes
  • Who Knew
  • You + Your Hand
  • Hot n Cold
  • So What
  • My Life Would Suck Without You
  • 3
  • Whataya Want From Me
  • Dynamite
  • DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love
  • Teenage Dream
  • Raise Your Glass
  • F'n Perfect
  • Blow
  • Hold It Against Me
  • E.T.
  • Till the World Ends
  • I Wanna Go
  • Last Friday Night (TGIF)
  • Domino
  • The One That Got Away
  • Part of Me
  • Wide Awake
  • Scream
  • Beauty and the Beast (Justin Bieber hit)
  • One More Night
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Again
  • I Knew You Were Trouble
  • Daylight
  • Roar
  • Dark Horse
  • Problem
  • Break Free
  • Bang Bang
  • Love Me Harder
  • Bad Blood 
  • Blank Space
  • Style
  • Wildest Dream
  • Can't Feel My Face
  • Love Me Like You Do
  • Can't Stop the Feeling
  • Dangerous Woman
  • Hands to Myself
  • Just Like Fire
  • Send My Love (to Your New Lover)
  • Side to Side
That's 63 top ten hits, 21 of which went to number 1, in just over 26 years. Whether you like his style of pop music or not, his induction was a no brainer.

Of course, that is not to disparage the other four inductees who all have impressive lists of well known music although it still is not clear what makes up a "non-performing songwriter" as Kenneth "Babyface" Edmunds has had numerous hits over the years.

Hall co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and President Linda Moran said "With our 2017 roster of inductees, the Songwriters Hall of Fame moves definitively into recognizing music creators of the 21st century while continuing to honor the greats of earlier decades. The combination of contemporary sounds and timeless hits of the past is certain to make for an unforgettable evening. The songwriters we honor cross genre, regional and even national boundaries - R & B, Rap, Pop and Rock & Roll from both coasts, the American heartland and Sweden. We are thrilled to once more have the opportunity to preside over an event that recognizes the convergence of song craft and musical performance at the very highest level."

The induction ceremony will take place on June 15 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Also being inducted that evening will be Barry Gordy who had to defer his award last year.

For the record, those who were nominated but were not selected for induction this year:
  • Bryan Adams
  • Gloria Estefan
  • David Gates
  • Vince Gill
  • Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam)
  • Robert "Kool" Bell, Ronald Bell & George Brown (Kool & the Gang)
  • Jeff Lynne
  • Madonna
  • George Michael
  • Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart
  • Randy Goodrum
  • Tony Macaulay
  • Kenny Nolan
  • Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham
  • Paul Overstreet
  • Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan
  • William "Mickey" Stevenson
  • Allee Willis
  • Maury Yeston

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