Jay Z Becomes First Rapper Chosen For Songwriters Hall Of Fame

By Rami Abou-Sabe

Nearly 50 years after the formation of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the organization has recognized hip hop as a legitimate song form. On June 15th, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter will become the first rapper inducted into the SongHall at the 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner.

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The organization seems particularly enamored with Jay Z‘s critical and financial success. “Since 1996, 21-time GRAMMY award winner, Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter has dominated an evolution in popular culture,” reads a recent statement. “With more than 100 million records sold he is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Also a powerful entrepreneur across the music/entertainment, fashion and sports industries, Jay Z personifies the ‘American Dream.'”

Hova isn’t the only under-fifty artist set to be recognized. Hitmaker Max Martin finds his way onto the 2017 list. The Swedish producer has had a hand in more Top 40 hits than any other musician in the new Millennium. Martin-penned chart toppers include the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl,” and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” What a résumé, huh?

Other artists set to be inducted this year include, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and the principle songwriters of Chicago (Robert Lamm, James Pankow, & Peter Cetera). Berry Gordy, who deferred his induction in 2016, will also be part of the 2017 class.

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