Jay-Z will become the first rapper ever inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The 47-year-old star – who is married to Beyoncé – has been named along songwriters including Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Max Martin, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, who will join the 2017 class and be celebrated at the 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner in New York on June 15.
Motown founder Berry Gordy will also be inducted, after deferring his induction in 2016.Announcing the inductees on CBS ‘This Morning’, Chic’s Nile Rodgers said: “Jay-Z was in a space where, even though he’s had more pop albums than anyone else because he did it through rap, it took longer for traditional voters to consider him. It’s massive. He has changed the way that we listen to music. He’s changed the way that we have fun.”
According to Billboard, Warner/Chappell Chairman & CEO Jon Platt praised Jay Z’s achievement in a memo to staff, saying: “Since his debut album, ‘Reasonable Doubt’, was released over two decades ago, it’s been an incredible honour to work with the greatest MC of all time as he continues to achieve the unprecedented. Today, his songwriting is celebrated with a new, landmark achievement: being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. With this announcement, Jay is also the first rap artist to ever be inducted into the SHOF. This is an enormous accomplishment for Jay, as well as on behalf of fellow hip-hop songwriters everywhere, as he takes his place alongside past inductees and legends, ranging from Bob Dylan to Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye to Lennon & McCartney.”
Jay-Z released his debut album ‘Reasonable Doubt in 1996. Hall of Fame co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and President Linda Moran praised all of the 2017 inductees after the announcement. They said: “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.
“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.”