The latest in the Songwriters Hall of Fame Songwriters-In-The-Round series, Chart Toppers: “Ladies Night” took place last night to a packed house in the Clive Davis Theater at the GRAMMY Museum in LA. The evening was a stellar gathering of five dynamic women, Claudia Brant, Deana Carter, Lauren Christy, Christina Perri and Makeba Riddick, who have not only propelled their careers to chart-topping success, but have created signature songs for many of today’s top artists as well. The panelist‘s achievements complimented one another as they showcased career highlights in all different genres, including Urban, Pop, Latin and Country.
The moderator for the evening, esteemed music journalist and friend of the SHOF, Melinda Newman, brought out enthusiastic and insightful responses from the panel. Topics varied, and they spoke of what initially sparked their interests in songwriting, overcoming writer’s block and, in the instance of Deana Carter, sharing her “comeback story;” being nominated for Country Song of the Year in 2012 after a brief hiatus spent raising her family.
Christina Perri shared how placement of her song “Jar of Hearts” on the hit television show “So You Think You Can Dance” led to instant fame just days thereafter. She then treated the audience to the first-ever live performance of a new song from her forthcoming album.
Makeba Riddick spoke of her reality; traveling on a moment’s notice to Europe to collaborate with Rihanna, Beyonce and other superstars, to create her hit songs with them.
Lauren Christy performed two of her award-winning hits from Avril Lavigne’s multi-platinum debut album, “Complicated” and “I’m With You.”
Claudia Brant highlighted how she crafts international hits in both Spanish and English for superstars such as Ricky Martin, Luis Fonsi, and of drawing her early inspiration growing up in Argentina from listening to The Carpenters.
The event was hosted by Mary Jo Mennella (SHOF Board Member/chair of West Coast Events) and Rita George (the GRAMMY Museum’s Deputy Director), with West Coast Committee members Barbara Cane and Loretta Muñoz co-chairing the event.
Continuing the custom of inviting music students from neighboring educational institutions as part of the Songwriters Hall of Fame educational outreach program, the audience included over 50 students from the University of Southern California, Cal State Northridge and the Musician’s Institute.