Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of FameLionel Richie, Nile Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards of Chic, and the late Marvin Gaye were among the honorees Thursday night in New York City, as the Songwriters Hall of Fame held its annual induction gala. While he’s amazingly not in the Songwriters Hall of Fame right now, it’s a good bet Prince may be next.
“I think Prince deserves to be in,” said Kenny Gamble, of famed songwriting and production team Gamble & Huff. He and Huff are co-chairmen of the Hall, and Gamble noted, “I think that Huff and myself — we represent a different view for the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Lionel Richie’s here tonight and Marvin Gaye, so…we’ll get Prince, and everyone else that we can that deserves to be in it.”
Speaking of Richie, he received the Hall’s highest honor, the Johnny Mercer Award. “Ooh, I feel good,” Richie told reporters on the red carpet. “Songwriters honoring songwriters is the best it could ever be.”
He also recalled when one day, music legends Sammy Cahn and Henry Mancini admitted to him, “When we first saw you walk down the aisle at the Grammys with your Afro and your platform shoes, [we] said, ‘There goes the music business.'”
“So to go from there to now, I think we’ve done alright!” he laughed.
While Chic has been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame several times, they’re not in yet, but Nile Rodgers told reporters that he much prefers the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“This means a hell of a lot more to me,” he said. “I didn’t start out trying to win awards…[but] when people started to approach me and say, ‘Oh, you’re nominated for this and nominated for that,’ the things that’s the most precious to me is either playing or creating it, right? [Well], they don’t give you too many awards for playing, but for creating, this is the one.”
The members of Sister Sledge were on hand to salute Rodgers and Edwards, who penned “We Are Family” and “He’s the Greatest Dancer” for them. Jussie Smollett and Jennifer Hudson were among the evening’s other performers and presenters.
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