Broadcast Music, Inc. is proud to congratulate its Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees, Bobby Braddock, Willie Dixon, Toby Keith, Cyndi Lauper and Linda Perry, who together made up the majority of this year’s class of inductions into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 18, 2015. Congratulations also go to BMI songwriters Lady Gaga, who was presented with the first-ever Contemporary Icon Award, and Van Morrison, who received the Johnny Mercer Award.
2011 BMI Country Icon Bobby Braddock is a decorated country writer with 13 number one hits, multiple BMI Country Awards and cuts by country greats such as Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tammy Wynette and George Jones. Singer-songwriter Toby Keith is a three-time BMI Country Songwriter of the Year, who has written at least one number one hit per year for 20 consecutive years, including smashes “Should Have Been A Cowboy” and “I Love This Bar.” GRAMMY winner Cyndi Lauper burst onto the pop scene in the ’80s and has been a staple since, with hits such as “Time After Time” and “She Bop,” and the Tony award-winning score to the hit Broadway play Kinky Boots. Linda Perry, who was a member of 4 Non Blondes in the early ’90s, went on to write hits with P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and the Dixie Chicks. Posthumously honored Chicago blues writer Willie Dixon had cuts by Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry, and is recognized by The Blues Foundation, the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and the GRAMMY Hall of Fame for his place in music history.
In addition to these new inductions, previously inducted songwriter Van Morrison is the 2015 recipient of the esteemed Johnny Mercer Award. This award is the highest honor given by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is exclusively reserved for a songwriter or songwriting team that has already been inducted but “whose body of work is of such high quality and impact that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer.” Morrison is responsible for penning such iconic songs as “Brown Eyed Girl,”’ “Moondance,” “Into The Mystic,” “Come Running,” “Domino” and other hits, while his classic album Astral Weeks ranks nineteenth on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” The Songwriters Hall of Fame Contemporary Icon Award, which was newly initiated this year in celebration of a songwriter-artist who has attained an iconic status in pop culture, was appropriately given to Lady Gaga.
Musical performances during the magical night included Ledisi who performed an upbeat medley of Dixon’s chart-topping hits in his honor, including, “I Just Wanna Make Love To You,” “Hoochie Choochie Man,” “Spoonful,” and “Wang Dang Doodle” with Richie Sambora on guitar and vocals. Bernie Taupin posthumously inducted Dixon, whose daughter, Jacqueline Dixon, accepted on his behalf. Carly Rae Jepsen gave an emotional performance of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time,” before inducting the songwriter who then performed her hit “Hat Full Of Stars.” Stephen Colbert, who surprised the audience on stage to induct Toby Keith, gave a highly impressive performance of “Not As Good As I Once Was,” while Keith delivered a powerful version of “Clancy’s Tavern.” Lady Gaga inducted Linda Perry, giving a memorable performance of “What’s Up,” while Perry awed the audience with a solo performance of her hit “Beautiful.” Receiving a standing ovation, Jennifer Nettles performed an emotional rendition of “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” after which she inducted Bobby Braddock, who performed his “country rap” hit “I Wanna Talk About Me.” Linda Perry returned to the stage to perform Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” before introducing the incomparable Tony Bennett, who fittingly presented Gaga with her prestigious honor. In a tribute to Van Morrison, Michael Bublé gave a captivating performance of “Moondance,” before presenting him with the Johnny Mercer Award. Bublé then joined the iconic Morrison for a soulful performance of his classic “Real Real Gone.”
During the evening, BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill, along with ASCAP President Paul Williams, presented the Visionary Leadership Award to former ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento for his “significant contribution in furthering the ongoing mission of the SHOF organization.” Closing the historic night as the recently named SHOF co-chairmen were legendary BMI songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. Kudos to all, for jobs well done!