Jay Z has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, becoming the first rapper to ever be rewarded with such an honor. In a tweet he expressed his happiness: “This is a win for us. I remember when rap was said to be a fad. We are now alongside some of the greatest writers in history.”
The ceremony of Songwriters Hall of Fame induction is supposed to take place in June in New York, and alongside Jay Z, there are other inductees for the year 2017: Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Max Martin – Swedish songwriter and super-producer, as well as three members of Chicago – James Pankow, Peter Cetera and Robert Lamm. Nile Rodgers of Chic announced the ceremony on Wednesday on US TV.
“With our 2017 roster of inductees, the Songwriters Hall of Fame moves definitively into recognising music creators of the 21st century while continuing to honour the greats of earlier decades,” said SHOF co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff – the masterminds behind the Philly soul sound – and president Linda Moran. “The songwriters we honour cross genres, regional and even national boundaries. We are thrilled to once more have the opportunity to preside over an event that recognises the convergence of songcraft and musical performance at the very highest level.”
As Rodgers said, it took long to induct Jay Z because “even though he’s had more pop albums than anyone else … he did it through rap,” but Moran said it was not an easy task to get Jay Z inducted. “To be honest with you, last year we talked about it a lot,” she said. “Our board and community wasn’t ready. This year we felt that they had been educated enough.” She added that Jay Z was “so over the moon” about the induction. She added: “He was flipping out, he was going crazy.”