The 2017 inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame were announced Wednesday morning Feb. 22, with hip-hop icon Jay Z and one-man hit factory Max Martin leading a class that also includes Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and three members of Chicago.
“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,” said Hall co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and President Linda Moran. “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.”
With his induction, Jay Z becomes the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall. His standout tracks include the Alicia Keys duet “Empire State of Mind,” “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” and “03 Bonnie & Clyde” with Beyoncé, among many others.