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Songwriters Hall of Fame nominees announced

Chapman, Blondie, R.E.M., Heart among those in the running

By MARK KENNEDY, Associated Press
Published: November 25, 2023, 6:04am
2 Photos
Clem Burke, from left, Debbie Harry and Rob Roth attend a screening of &ldquo;Blondie: Vivir En La Habana&rdquo; during the 20th Tribeca Festival in New York on June 16, 2021. The band Blondie is among the nominees for the 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Clem Burke, from left, Debbie Harry and Rob Roth attend a screening of “Blondie: Vivir En La Habana” during the 20th Tribeca Festival in New York on June 16, 2021. The band Blondie is among the nominees for the 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame. (Charles Sykes/Invision) Photo Gallery

NEW YORK — 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” quartet R.E.M. 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 Dec. 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 honor those creating the popular music. A songwriter with a notable catalog 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 and Bruce Springsteen.

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