Songwriters Hall of Fame

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The Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and music publisher/songwriter Abe Olman and publisher/executive Howie Richmond to honor those whose work represents and maintains the heritage and legacy of a spectrum of the most beloved songs from the world's popular music songbook. It not only celebrates these established songwriters, but is also involved on the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. There are many programs designed to teach and discover new songwriters. Nile Rodgers serves as the organization's chairman.[1]

The Hall of Fame only existed as an online virtual collection until 2010, when it was first put on display as a physical gallery inside The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.[2] With an under-construction basement installation at the Brill Building in New York, the Hall does not have a permanent place and the awards are not televised.[3]

Through 2019, 461 individuals had been inducted into the SHOF.

There are numerous examples of collaborating songwriters being inducted in unison, with each person being considered a separate entrant. The inaugural year featured 120 inductees, many of whom had a professional partnership, such as Rodgers and Hammerstein. Burt Bacharach and Hal David followed in 1972. Betty Comden and Adolph Green were selected in 1980, and Lieber and Stoller were inducted in 1985. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were inducted in 1989 along with Gerry Goffin and Carole King as well as Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Motown's Holland-Dozier-Holland team were honored the following year. Elton John and Bernie Taupin were among those chosen in 1992, and the pop music group the Bee Gees had all three brothers inducted in 1994. In 1995, Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe as well as Gamble and Huff were inducted. John Denver was inducted in 1996. The Eagles' Glenn Frey and Don Henley were co-inductees in 2000. Queen was the first rock band to have all their band members inducted in 2003.[4][5] Five members of Earth, Wind & Fire were in the class of 2010, and four members of Kool and the Gang were honored in 2018.

Abe Olman Publisher Award[edit]

The Abe Olman Publisher Award is given to publishers who have had a substantial number of songs that have become world-renowned and who have helped to further the careers and success of many songwriters.[6]

Board of Directors Award[edit]

The Board of Directors Award is presented to an individual selected by the SHOF Board in recognition of his or her service to the songwriting community and the advancement of popular music.[7]

Contemporary Icon Award[edit]

The Contemporary Icon Award was established in 2015 to recognize songwriter-artists who attained an iconic status in pop culture. The American singer Lady Gaga was the first artist to win the award.[8]

Hal David Starlight Award[edit]

Hal David smiling.
Hal David at the ASCAP Awards in 2011

First presented in 2004 as the Starlight Award, the prize was renamed in 2006 as the Hal David Starlight Award in honor of the SHOF Chairman's longtime support of young songwriters.[10][11] Award recipients are gifted songwriters who are at an apex in their careers and are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs.[12]

Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award[edit]

The Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award is specifically tailored for artists or "star makers" in the music industry who have been responsible for a substantial number of hit songs for an extended period of time, and who recognize the importance of songs and their writers.[13][14]

Johnny Mercer Award[edit]

Johnny Mercer in front a piano, holding a pen.
Johnny Mercer between 1946 and 1948

The Johnny Mercer Award is the highest honor bestowed by the event. It goes to writers already inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for having established a history of outstanding creative works.[15][16][17]

Patron of the Arts[edit]

The Patron of the Arts is presented to influential industry executives who are not primarily in the music business but are great supporters of the performing arts.[18]

Pioneer Award[edit]

The Pioneer Award was established in 2012 to recognize the career of a historic creator of an extensive body of musical work that has been a major influence on generations of songwriters.[19][20]

Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award[edit]

Sammy Cahn playing a piano.
Sammy Cahn in 1950s

Named for the former President of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals or teams who are recognized as having done a great deal to further the successes of songwriters.[21]

Scholarship Awards[edit]

Abe Olman Scholarship[edit]

Abe Olman was an American songwriter and music publisher. He was later director of ASCAP, and a founder of the Songwriters Hall of Fame which, in 1983, named the Abe Olman Publisher Award. In his honor, the Abe Olman Scholarship is given out each year by his family in the interest of encouraging and supporting the careers of young songwriters.[22]

Todd Borom & Lee Borom (ASCAP)
Jeffrey Bernstein (ASCAP)
Juliana Nash (BMI)
Jimmy Furino (SGA)
Nancy Magarill & H. Sefus Henderson (ASCAP)
April Higuera (BMI)
Emil Trombino, Sal Trombino & Walter Zelinski (SHOF)
Thomas Kjellberg (SGA)
Nanette Maxine Brown (ASCAP)
Dee Ann Macomson (SGA)
Ellen O’Brien & Rich Campbell (SHOF)
Pantera Saint-Montaigne (BMI)
Mark Batson (BMI)
Lorraine Ferro & Stephanie Lewis (SHOF)
Darren Quinlan (ASCAP)
David Stewart (SGA)
Ilene Angel (SHOF)
Gregory Cohen & Matthew Lewis (BMI)
Mike Flynn (SGA)
Anika Peress (ASCAP)
Jazmin Jackson (ASCAP)
Rebecca Martin (BMI)
Amy Powers & Stephanie Salzman (SHOF)
Alan Wolpert & Bill Pitzonka (SGA)
Mike Blaxill (BMI)
Janie Coulter & Barry Wittenstein (SHOF)
Tina de Varon (ASCAP)
Caroline Horn (SGA)
Cara Beckenstein (SGA)
Tamara Feinman (SESAC)
Nicole Johnson (BMI)
Pilley (ASCAP)
Liz Queler (SHOF)
Stephanie Cooke (ASCAP)
Amanda Green (SHOF)
Lauren Kinhan (SESAC)
Dan Siegler (BMI)
Richard Winter (SGA)
Chris Alastair (ASCAP)
Chris Moore (BMI)
Ivy Markaity (SESAC)
Clare Cooper (SGA)
Sandy Fredrickseon (SHOF)
Mike Errico (SHOF)
Delilah Harris (SESAC)
Natasha Ming (BMI)
Jean Norris (ASCAP)
Stephen Rosenthal (SGA)
Angela Ai (SHOF)
Jabe Beyer (SESAC)
Edie Carey (BMI)
James Day (ASCAP)
Nina Mankin (SGA)
Sophia Ramos Dupre (SESAC)
Tabitha Fair (BMI)
Carrie FitzGibbon (SHOF)
James Glasco (ASCAP)
Stephen Goldfinger (SGA)
John Legend performing.
John Legend was honored in 2002 with the Abe Olman Scholarship
Colin Brooks (SESAC)
Elizabeth Jordan (SHOF)
Lee Kweller (SGA)
Johnny Rodgers (ASCAP)
John Stephens (aka John Legend) (BMI)
Janice FitzGerald (SHOF)
Karen Jacobsen (SESAC)
Michael McLeod (SGA)
Jeanine Smith (BMI)
Meleni Smith (ASCAP)
Bliss: Kiirsten Moore (BMI)
David Ippolito (SGA)
Michele Jaffe (SHOF)
Lori McKenna (ASCAP)
Sofia-Jay: Jay & Jennifer Lyons (SESAC)
Laurel Barclay & Matt Katz-Bohen of Daddy (SESAC)
Loretta Collins (SGA)
Kiara Duran (NAPM)
Morley Kamen (ASCAP)
Sylvia Tosun (BMI)
Cassandra Kubinski
Summer Johnson
Wes Hutchinson
Annie Dinerman
Susan Cagle
Dan Ferrari
Jayms Madison
Alice Smith
Jodi Shaw
Adam Falcon
Galia Arad
Linda Kiraly
Reeve Carney
Watt White
Shelly Bhushan
Madi Diaz
Michael Grubbs
April Smith
Kirsten Thien
Natalie Warner
Gabriella Caspi
Keli Price
Comic Book Heroes
Rebecca Jordan
Chris Tedesco
Erin Christine
Markeisha Ensley
Rachel Brown
Nenna Yvonne & Daniel Wisniewski
Jason Kingston
Shea Rose
Jody Mulgrew
Bebe Rexha
Jeremy Current
Lyle Divinsky
Amy Allen
Ro James
Emily Warren
Kat Edmonson
Tyler Lyle
Cobaine Ivory
Sydney Wayser
Travis Nilan
Claire Wilkinson
Audra Mae

The Holly Prize[edit]

Created In 2009, The Holly Prize is a tribute to the legacy of Buddy Holly, a SHOF inductee. The award recognizes and supports a new "all-in songwriter" — an exceptionally talented and inspired young musician/singer/songwriter whose work exhibits the qualities of Holly's music: true, great and original. The Holly Prize is administered and juried by the SongHall.[23]

The NYU Steinhardt Songwriting Scholar Award[edit]

Announced in 2011, along with a collaboration between the Songwriters Hall of Fame and NYU Steinhardt's Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, the NYU Steinhardt Songwriting Scholar Award is presented to a music composition student whose work holds great potential for success in the field, and embodies the art, craft, individuality and qualities of communication of the best songwriting.[24]

  • AJ Smith
  • David Marenberg
  • Monica Cialona
  • Shan Gao
  • Tiger Darrow

Towering Performance Award[edit]

The Towering Performance Award is given in recognition of one-of-a-kind performances by one-of-a-kind singers that have recorded outstanding and unforgettable interpretations of songs that have become iconic standards.[25]

Towering Song Award[edit]

The Towering Song Award is given to creators of an individual song that has influenced the culture in a unique way over the years.[26][27][14]

Visionary Leadership Award[edit]

Created in 2013, The Visionary Leadership Award recognizes members of the Hall of Fame Board of Directors who have made a significant contribution in furthering the ongoing mission of the organization.[28][29]

  • 2013 – Hal David
  • 2014 – Del Bryant
  • 2015 – John A. Lofrumento

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nile Rodgers Appointed Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  2. ^ "About Us". Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  3. ^ "Songwriters Hall of Fame Honorees Range from Gaga to Grateful Dead". Variety. June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  4. ^ The Lives & Music of Queen ABC. Retrieved June 11, 2011
  5. ^ 2003 Award and Induction Ceremony: Queen Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 11, 2011
  6. ^ "Abe Olman Publisher Award". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  7. ^ "Board of Directors Award". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  8. ^ "Lady Gaga To Receive First-Ever Contemporary Icon Award". Songwriters Hall of Fame. April 23, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "2006 Award and Induction Ceremony". Songwriters Hall of Fame. 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  11. ^ "John Legend To Receive Hal David Starlight Award At Songwriters Hall Of Fame Gala". Songwriters Hall of Fame. 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  12. ^ "Hal David Starlight Award". Songwriters Hall of Fame. 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  13. ^ "Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on May 18, 2008. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Songwriters Hall Of Fame Celebrates The Best Of Songwriting Legends". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  15. ^ Christman, Ed (March 10, 2011). "Barry Mann And Cynthia Weil To Receive Johnny Mercer Award At 2011 Songwriters Hall Of Fame Event". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  16. ^ "Johnny Mercer Award". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  17. ^ "The Johnny Mercer Award Winners". The Johnny Mercer Foundation. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  18. ^ "Patron of the Arts". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  19. ^ "Highlights From The 2012 Songwriters Hall Of Fame Awards". American Songwriter. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  20. ^ "Berry Gordy to Receive Pioneer Award From Songwriters Hall of Fame". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  21. ^ "Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 14, 2008. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  22. ^ "Abe Olman Scholarship". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  23. ^ "The Holly Prize". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  24. ^ "The NYU Steinhardt Songwriting Scholar Award". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on July 1, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  25. ^ "Towering Performance". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  26. ^ "Towering Songs". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  27. ^ "Songwriters Hall Of Fame Celebrates The Best Of Songwriting Legends". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  28. ^ "BMI Head Del Bryant to Be Presented With Visionary Leadership Award at Songwriters Hall of Fame". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  29. ^ "ASCAP CEO John A. Lofrumento To Be Honored With Visionary Leadership Award". The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 16, 2015.

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