Students from USC's prestigious Thornton School paid musical tribute to Grammy-winning writer/producer and 2015 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee Linda Perry during the SHOF Master Sessions event held in Los Angeles on November 6. Master Sessions, a program in its third year sponsored by The Songwriters Hall of Fame and USC Thornton School, is a key component of USC’s Popular Music Forum and one of The Songwriters Hall of Fame West Coast committee’s educational outreach programs geared to expose the music community and aspiring hit makers to the history, knowledge and life lessons of some of the greatest tunesmith’s of our time. Previous Master Sessions at USC have featured Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductees and Special Award Winners Bill Withers, David Foster, Billy Steinberg, Benny Blanco, Graham Nash, Donovan and Ralph Peer. During the session, Perry revealed insight into her creative process and honest approach to each collaboration, while getting to the core of each artist she works with. As the songwriter who penned the famous lyrics Christina Aguilera’s global smash hit “Beautiful,” which is renown for personal empowerment, Perry challenged students to always “be authentic” in their work and process. “Linda Perry demonstrated what it takes to be a true artist in candid, unvarnished terms. The students learned how deep the commitment is to a life as a creative musician. This gave the students something to really think about as they consider their own future,” said Chris Sampson, Vice Dean of Contemporary Music at USC Thornton School. After the in depth interview and student Q&A conducted by Sampson, students paid musical tribute to Perry, performing a rousing rendition of some of her greatest hits including “Beautiful,” and “Get the Party Started” among others. The tribute was produced by Patrice Rushen, Chair of USC’s Popular Music Program. In addition, Sampson was presented an award from SHOF Board Member, West Coast Committee Chair Mary Jo Mennella and Barbara Cane, SHOF West Coast Committee member, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the songwriting community and his unwavering support of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions. Twenty lucky students received complimentary Songwriters Hall of Fame annual memberships during a drawing at the event. The memberships were made possible through the generosity of SONGS Music Publishing. “Partnering with USC Thornton has been extremely gratifying for the Songwriters Hall of Fame in helping us perform a major part of our mission of nurturing and developing the next generation of songwriters. It is most appropriate therefore that we acknowledge and honor Chris Sampson’s extraordinary leadership in this relationship,” said SHOF President & CEO Linda Moran. “2015 Inductee Linda Perry was a perfect guest for this Master Session, creating an atmosphere of creative magic for all who attended. This was yet another home run for Mary Jo Mennella and the West Coast Projects Committee, and an unforgettable experience for the USC students.” “I was deeply moved to receive this recognition from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Master Sessions has provided extraordinary learning moments for my students over the past three years. It’s simply been a beautiful partnership,” said Sampson. The afternoon ended with everyone marveling at Linda’s generosity in committing her time, once again, to the students at USC.