On Wednesday, the 2017 inductees for the Songwriters Hall of Fame were announced, revealing a historic accomplishment for the hip-hop community.
Hip-hop icon, business-man and music mogul, Jay Z, will be the first rapper to be awarded with the prestigious honor. Among the living legend are several big-name musical geniuses who will also be inducted into this year’s Songwriters Hall of Fame, including Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Max Martin, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam and Robert Lamm, James Pankow and Peter Cetera of Chicago.
Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers announced the 2017 inductees on CBS This Morning, providing a few words of the 21-time Grammy winner’s historic induction. He revealed that Jay Z’s ties to hip hop initially left the more traditional voters with reservations.
Rodgers says that Jay Z “was in a space where, even though he’s had more pop albums than anyone else, because he did it through rap,” the voters were initially skeptical about considering him for the honor, so it took a little longer to convince them. Still, according to Rodgers, “It’s massive. He has changed the way that we listen to music. He’s changed the way we have fun.”
“With our 2017 roster of inductees, the Songwriters Hall of Fame moves definitively into recognizing music creators of the 21st century while continuing to honor the greats of earlier decades. The combination of contemporary sounds and timeless hits of the past is certain to make for an unforgettable evening,”said Hall co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and President Linda Moran. “The songwriters we honor cross genre, regional and even national boundaries – R & B, Rap, Pop and Rock & Roll from both coasts, the American heartland and Sweden. We are thrilled to once more have the opportunity to preside over an event that recognizes the convergence of song craft and musical performance at the very highest level.”
The 48th annual ceremony and awards dinner will take place June 5 in New York City.