By Rami Abou-Sabe
Nearly 50 years after the formation of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the organization has recognized hip hop as a legitimate song form. On June 15th, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter will become the first rapper inducted into the SongHall at the 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner.
The organization seems particularly enamored with Jay Z‘s critical and financial success. “Since 1996, 21-time GRAMMY award winner, Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter has dominated an evolution in popular culture,” reads a recent statement. “With more than 100 million records sold he is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Also a powerful entrepreneur across the music/entertainment, fashion and sports industries, Jay Z personifies the ‘American Dream.'”
Hova isn’t the only under-fifty artist set to be recognized. Hitmaker Max Martin finds his way onto the 2017 list. The Swedish producer has had a hand in more Top 40 hits than any other musician in the new Millennium. Martin-penned chart toppers include the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl,” and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” What a résumé, huh?
Other artists set to be inducted this year include, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and the principle songwriters of Chicago (Robert Lamm, James Pankow, & Peter Cetera). Berry Gordy, who deferred his induction in 2016, will also be part of the 2017 class.