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SONGWRITERS INDUCT JAY Z, BERRY GORDY, CHICAGO, BABYFACE, JAM & LEWIS

With the birth of twins imminent, Jay Z skipped the Songwriters Hall of Fame 48th annual Induction and Awards Dinner and allowed Warner/Chappell CEO Jon Platt to speak on his behalf. He used the opportunity to provide encouraging words to young hip-hop artists.

Platt noted that the industry does not bestow its biggest honors on hip-hop artists, then said, “Jay would want you to know that this induction is a signal that your time has come and your time is now. He would tell up-and-coming hip-hop artists today that there can be no mistake or question that you are indeed songwriters, and your gift cannot ever be overlooked.”

President Obama sent in a congratulatory video. "I like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other," Obama said. "Nobody who met us as younger men would have expected us to be where we are today. We know what it's like not to have a father around. We know what it's like not to come from much, to know people didn't get the same breaks that we did, so we try to pop up those doors of opportunity."

Also inducted were Max Martin, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Chicago’s Robert Lamm and James Pankow.

Alan Menken received the Johnny Mercer Award; Ed Sheeran was honored with the Hal David Starlight Award; Pitbull with the first-ever Global Ambassador Award; and Caroline Bienstock received the Abe Oleman Publisher Award.

Gordy’s daughter Rhonda Ross Kendrick surprised her father and performed “To Be Loved.” In his speech, Gordy said “a song is not only a force that evokes emotion; it takes us to another time and place.”

Jon Bon Jovi inducted Martin after singing his “It’s My Life” before inducting the song’s writer Max Martin. Train’s Pat Monahan introduced inductees Pankow and Lamm, performing “Just You And Me” with Pankow on trombone. Lamm and Pankow performed “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is.”

Irving Azoff inducted Babyface, after which Johnny Gill sang “My, My, My.” Usher honored Jam and Lewis with a medley that included “Gigolos Get Lonely Too,” “Tender Love” and “Let’s Wait Awhile”

Cassandra Wilson’s tribute to Bienstock was a performance of Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell’s “Fever.” Menken performed a medley of his work—“Under The Sea,” “A Whole New World” “Beauty and the Beast” included—after a presentation from Whoopi Goldberg.After Pitbull was saluted by John Leguizamo he performed a medley of “Fireball, “Don’t Stop the Party,” “Give Me Everything,” and “Remix.”

 

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