On Wednesday (Feb. 22), Jay Z was named one of this year’s inductees, becoming the first rapper to receive the honor. He joins his fellow honorees Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm, Max Martin, James Pankow, and Peter Cetera.
SHOF co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and President Linda Moran issued a joint statement about this year’s celebration of songwriting excellence.
“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,” they said.
“The songwriters we honor cross genres, 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.” Berry Gordy, who postponed his induction last year, will also be celebrated at this year’s ceremony.
Chance the Rapper celebrated the news on Twitter, adding that he hopes to enter the Songwriters Hall of Fame one day. “S/o to my OGs, Jay Z and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, who were elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame today,” he tweeted. “I hope to one day make it there.”
The 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner will be held June 15 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.