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JUNE 17, 2022 – NEW YORK – After a two-year delay, the highly anticipated 2022 Songwriters Hall of Fame 51st Annual Induction and Awards Dinner returned, as Chairman Nile Rodgers, President/CEO Linda Moran recognized and celebrated some of the best songwriting legends of our time. The evening was a sparkling success, as musical titans Mariah Carey, Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart p/k/a Eurythmics, The Isley Brothers, Steve Miller, Pharrell Williams & Chad Hugo p/k/a The Neptunes, Rick Nowels, and William “Mickey” Stevenson were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Master songwriter Paul Williams received the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson received the Abe Olman Publisher Award, and award-winning rapper and singer-songwriter Lil Nas X received the Hal David Starlight Award.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner, year after year, is a night full of unforgettable moments celebrating the art of songwriting. The evening kicked off with an incredible performance as St. Vincent sang a rendition of Eurythmics’ classic “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” before she inducted Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart p/k/a Eurythmics, praising the pair for “So many incredible Eurythmic songs they’ve created together. The songs will stand the test of time. They are songs my parents and my kids and their kids will love for generations.” Following their induction, Annie and Dave performed “Here Comes The Rain Again” to thunderous applause.
Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, Sir Lucian Grainge, awarded Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson with the Abe Olman Publisher Award, which is awarded to music publishers who have had a substantial number of songs become world-renowned and furthered the career and success of songwriters. Jody remarked, looking back on her decades-long career, “True music publishers’ investments in songwriters comes not just financially, but in the relationships that endure in the good times and the bad. For me, I am here - and will always be here - because of my dedication to songwriters and the love I have for songs.”
Actress and singer Rita Wilson serenaded her introduction for Ingrid Michaelson’s performance of “Rainbow Connection” and introduced a special video message from
Kermit the Frog, both dedicated to award-winning singer, composer, and songwriter Paul Williams. Musician Gustavo Santaolalla then performed a stunning medley of “The Apology Song” and “Valley of Last Resort,” before awarding his close friend Paul Williams with the highest honor bestowed by Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Johnny Mercer Award.
Pulitzer Prize winner, Ronan Farrow, took the stage to induct award-winning songwriter Rick Nowels to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Following the induction, Rick joined Violet Skies and Zac Rae for an intimate performance featuring some of Rick’s most recording-topping songs: “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” “Circle in the Sand,” “Rooms on Fire,” “You Get What You Give,” “The Power of Goodbye,” “White Flag,” “The Game of Love,” “I Follow Rivers,” and “Summertime Sadness.”
Prior to inducting R&B legend William “Mickey” Stevenson into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Smokey Robinson gave a soulful performance of “My Baby Loves Me.” William “Mickey” Stevenson then brought the audience to their feet with a performance of his classic hit “Dancing in the Street.”
Emmy and Tony winner Bryan Cranston inducted Steve Miller, commending his friend for “50 years of Steve’s music playing gloriously, infectiously on the radio…Steve Miller is music history.” Miller performed his classic hit “Fly Like an Eagle” after taking the time to thank the Songwriters Hall of Fame, calling it “a good place. It’s educational and diverse. It’s fun, and it endures.”
Award-winning rapper Fabolous took to the stage to honor Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Lil Nas X with the Hal David Starlight Award, which is presented to young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry with their original songs. Fabolous stated Lil Nas X has “That mark of fearlessness and relentlessness, one of the most imaginative voices in this generation, being only the second rapper ever to receive this award.”
Singer and Broadway star Leslie Odom Jr. took the stage to perform an electrifying version of “Work To Do” before inducting The Isley Brothers, praising the group for their contributions to the music industry that is felt across generations. The Isley Brothers then lit up the room with a show-stopping performance mixing four of their classics, “Who’s That Lady,” “Between The Sheets,” “It’s Your Thing,” and “Shout,” leaving the audience singing and clapping along to the chorus.
R&B/ Pop Duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis inducted award-winning pair Pharrell Williams & Chad Hugo p/k/a The Neptunes, relating to them as “a collaborative balance that allows us to complement each other’s strengths and bring out the best in each other…that is the recipe for a strong songwriting duo.” Following their induction, Jon Batiste performed “I Need You” and “Milkshake” before being joined by special surprise guest Usher, who brought down the house with “U Don’t Have To Call.”
Questlove inducted Mariah Carey as the final inductee, applauding her for always being a serious songwriter and artist. After, Liamani Segura performed Mariah’s top hits to a standing ovation, including: “Fantasy,” “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” “Heartbreaker,” “We Belong Together,” and “Hero,” with Wayna Morris joining for “One Sweet Day.” Yolanda Adams closed the night with a spectacularly memorable performance of “Make it Happen” and “Fly Like a Bird.”