New York, NY – February 18, 2015 – Musical titans Bobby Braddock, Willie Dixon, Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia, Toby Keith, Cyndi Lauper and Linda Perry will become the latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 46th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner. These legendary songwriters wrote such mega-hits as “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Dark Star,” “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” “Time After Time,” and “Beautiful.” The star-studded induction event is slated for Thursday, June 18th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Additional special award honorees will be announced soon.
“Our 2015 lineup of inductees represents the rich diversity of American musical styles – Rock, Country, Blues and Pop – that have captivated the world over the past six decades,” said SHOF President & CEO Linda Moran. “Each one of these brilliant music creators have written instantly recognizable classics, songs that are both of their time and timeless. Our Annual Awards Gala is sure to be unforgettable.”
Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) serves as a vital bridge between music’s past and future. In the Hall, musical pioneers are enshrined and celebrated, while the organization’s outreach to the music community grooms the next generation of troubadours.
Bobby Braddock is one of the most successful country music songwriters of all time. He grew up in Florida, traveled the South as a rock and roll musician, and became a songwriter in Nashville in the mid-1960s. He is the only living person to have written number one country hits in five consecutive decades, penning songs for artists such as Willie Nelson, Nancy Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, T. G. Sheppard and many more. With 13 number one hits, his songs have become country music standards, including favorites such as, “D.I.V.O.R.C.E,” recorded by Tammy Wynette, “Golden Ring,” the duet sung by George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Tracy Lawrence’s, “Time Marches On,” and Toby Keith’s 2001 hit, “I Wanna Talk About Me” (the first #1 country rap song). “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” sung by George Jones, has led most surveys as the best country song of all time. In 2001, he embarked on a new career as a producer, discovering singer Blake Shelton and making several number one records with him. Braddock’s most recent number one composition was Billy Currington’s, “People Are Crazy.” In 2011, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and received the annual BMI Icon Award, and in 2012, received the ACM Poet’s Award. He has received six CMA Song of the Year nominations, winning twice. He has received a total of 30 BMI airplay awards, and nine “Million Air” awards for songs that received at least one million performances each.
Willie Dixon, one of the most prolific songwriters of all time, has been referred to as “the poet laureate of the blues” and the “father of modern Chicago blues.” His songs have been recorded by countless artists across varying genres. “Hoochie Coochie Man,” first recorded by Muddy Waters and later by Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry and Jimmy Smith, went on to be recognized by The Blues Foundation and the Grammy Hall of Fame for its influence in pop music and in 2004, was selected for preservation by the U.S. Library of Congress National Recording Registry. Also first recorded by Muddy Waters was “I Just Want To Make Love To You,” later covered by a wide array of artists including Etta James, Adele, Van Morrison, and The Kinks, among others. One of his best-known compositions was “Little Red Rooster,” which was recorded by the Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, the Grateful Dead, The Doors and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll.” His other notable songs include “My Babe,” “Spoonful” and “You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover.” He was inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the “early influences” (pre-rock) category in 1994.
Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia*:
Songwriting partners Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia first paired together as performers in a folk duo in the early 1960’s. When Jerry formed the Grateful Dead in the mid-1960’s, he looked to Robert for lyrics. Robert became an official lyricist for the band, and when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Robert was inducted as a band member, the only non-performer ever honored. Jerry wrote the music while Robert penned lyrics for songs such as, “Casey Jones”, “China Cat Sunflower,” “St. Stephen” and “Truckin,'” which was recognized by the United States Library of Congress in 1997 as a national treasure. With more than 35 million albums sold worldwide, other notable tracks include, “Dark Star,” which is listed as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” list, and was ranked #57 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time,” the 1987 single, “Touch Of Grey” which was also the band’s first music video and, “Friend Of The Devil” from the 1970 album American Beauty, which has been covered by Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Counting Crows, Elvis Costello, Lyle Lovett and John Mayer. In 2007, the Grateful Dead received a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award.
Toby Keith has been one of the most consistent self-directed songwriters and hit makers of his era. From his first number one smash, “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” to “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “Who’s Your Daddy,” “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” “Beer For My Horses,” and “I Love This Bar,” his unparalleled success is strongly due to his songwriting, which includes having written a number one song for 20 consecutive years. It has powered an astounding succession of hits to the tune of more than 85 million BMI performances. He has been honored with the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Songwriter/Artist of the Decade distinction and is a three-time BMI Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year. His albums have sold more than 40 million copies, and his tours have drawn more than one million fans each year for the last 14 years. Toby’s most rewarding experiences come from giving back. Whether it’s helping sick children and their families in his native Oklahoma through the Toby Keith Foundation and their cost-free home, the Ok Kids Korral, or supporting US Troops including USO Tours throughout the world, Toby has never lost touch with the most important things in life.
For more than 30 years, Cyndi Lauper has been a songwriting provocateur. Her musical achievements are so pervasive that they have become entwined in the cultural landscape. Cyndi first found acclaim in 1983, co-writing a pair of memorable singles-“Time After Time” and “She Bop”-for her seminal debut, She’s So Unusual. Spring-boarding off this success, she co-wrote most of her follow-up album, True Colors, including the hit “Change of Heart.” As her craft evolved, so did her nuance for expressing social issues, notably on Hat Full of Stars (“Sally’s Pigeons,” “A Part Hate,” “Broken Glass”) and Sisters of Avalon (“Ballad of Cleo And Joe,” “Say A Prayer”). Throughout her career Cyndi has penned tracks with an assortment of her peers including Billy Joel, The Hooters, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jeff Beck, Junior Vasquex, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Nellie McKay and Max Martin. In 2013, those decades of songwriting culminated in Cyndi’s first foray into Broadway, composing the music for the critically adored Broadway musical Kinky Boots. The musical won six Tony Awards, including one for her score, which made her the first woman to win solo in that category. The show has gone on to set a box office record. All told, Cyndi’s spirited songwriting has earned her more than 50 million in album sales, two Grammys®, an Emmy, and a Tony.
Growing up, Linda Perry was exposed to a wide-range of musical influences, and began to show interest in creating her own music at a very young age. By age fifteen, she had written her first song titled, “Pity Girl.” Perry joined 4 Non Blondes in the early 90’s, and is credited for writing the mega-hit, “What’s Up,” which catapulted the band to international stardom selling over seven million records worldwide. In 2000, Perry began working her first major cuts and productions with Pink- on the more than 13 million-plus selling, twice Grammy®-nominated album, M!ssundaztood. Perry wrote and produced eight tracks on the album including the Grammy®- nominated song, “Get The Party Started.” Perry continued her work with Christina Aguilera, writing and producing several songs including the critically acclaimed pop-ballads, “Hurt” and “Beautiful,” which received three Grammy® nominations, including one for “Song of the Year,” and took home the Grammy® for “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.” Since then, she has written and produced songs with and for artist’s such as Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, James Blunt, The Dixie Chicks, and Celine Dion. Perry has also received recognition as one of the top songwriters in the industry by Billboard Magazine.
*Willie Dixon and Jerry Garcia will be inducted posthumously