Public Enemy, R.E.M., Blondie, Heart and Tracy Chapman get nods for Songwriters Hall of Fame
NEW YORK, United States (AP) — Everything from rap to yacht rock, country and alt-rock are represented among the nominees for the 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame, with nods for Public Enemy, Steely Dan, Bryan Adams, George Clinton, Tracy Chapman, R.E.M., Blondie, Heart and The Doobie Brothers.
The ballot also includes Footloose singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins; Nashville hitmaker Hillary Lindsey, who helped write Girl Crush for Little Big Town; and producer-writer Timbaland, the mastermind behind Justin Timberlake’s SexyBack and Missy Elliot’s Get Yer Freak On.
Included on the list are the Losing My Religion R.E.M. quartet led by Michael Stipe, as well as sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, who showed women could rock hard with songs like Barracuda and Crazy On You.
Joining them is Adams, with radio staples like Summer of ’69 and Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?, and Clinton, whose Parliament-Funkadelic collective was hugely influential with hits like Atomic Dog and Give Up the Funk.
Eligible voting members have until December. 27 to turn in ballots with their choices of three nominees from the songwriter category and three from the performing-songwriter category. The Associated Press got an early copy of the list.
Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke are nominated as Blondie, who gave the world the New Wave hits Call Me and Rapture, and Chapman, whose Fast Car, originally released in 1988, won her two Grammys in 1989 and a Country Music Association award this year after being covered by Luke Combs.
Adams, R.E.M., Blondie, The Doobie Brothers, and Heart were also nominated last year but didn’t make the final cut. Last year’s inductees included Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan, Sade, Jeff Lynne, Glen Ballard, and Teddy Riley.
The performing songwriters nominees this time include Canadian rock musicians Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings — behind American Woman and These Eyes — and The Doobie Brothers — Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons and Michael McDonald — with such classics as Listen to the Music and Long Train Runnin.
David Gates, who sang with the band Bread, is up for a career that includes such songs as Everything I Own and Make It With You, while Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Flavor Flav got nods for iconic tunes like Fight the Power and Bring the Noise.
Somewhat surprisingly, Steely Dan — co-founded by Donald Fagan and the late Walter Becker — are not in the hall despite being a staple of classic rock with songs like Reelin’ in the Years, Do It Again and Hey Nineteen. They went into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Other songwriter nominees who work behind the scenes include Maurice Starr (Candy Girl), Tony Macaulay (Baby Now That I’ve Found You), Dean Dillon (Tennessee Whiskey), L Russell Brown (Sock It To Me — Baby), Narada Michael Walden (How Will I Know), Roger Nichols (We’ve Only Just Begun) and the team of Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter (Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got)).
Loggins’ Footloose is also a credit for nominated songwriter Dean Pitchford, who also co-wrote Fame and Holding Out For a Hero. And Tony Macaulay, whose songs have been sung by Elvis Presley, Gladys Knight and Tom Jones, is nominated for Baby Now That I’ve Found You and Build Me Up Buttercup.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to honour those creating the popular music.
A songwriter with a notable catalogue of songs qualifies for induction 20 years after the first commercial release of a song.
Some already in the hall include Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Lionel Richie, Bill Withers, Neil Diamond and Phil Collins.