BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
The prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame will add three prominent Georgia names to its list of inductees.
Atlanta super producer Jermaine Dupri, Newnan native Alan Jackson and Decatur mainstay “Whisperin’ Bill” Anderson are among the 2018 class, which also includes John Mellencamp, Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor (of Kool & The Gang), Steve Dorff and Allee Willis.
The induction ceremony will take place June 14 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame was established in 1969; to qualify for induction, a songwriter much be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs.
Dupri wrote his first song (“Single”) at the age of 15, then went platinum four years later with the Kris Kross megahit, “Jump.” He’s scored more than 30 No. 1 hits, including work with Usher, Mariah Carey, and Xscape.
Country icon Jackson has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide and was also recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His most memorable hits include “Chattahoochee,” “Midnight in Montgomery” and “Remember When.”
And Anderson, who wrote “City Lights” for Ray Price when Anderson worked as a 19-year-old DJ in Georgia – he also studied journalism at University of Georgia – has written the timeless “Cold Hard Facts of Life,” “Once a Day,” and more recently, “Dying to See Her” with Brad Paisley.
Previous Hall of Fame inductees include Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland, Smokey Robinson, Paul Williams, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Diane Warren, Cyndi Lauper, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond and Tom Petty.
Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame event begin at $1,500 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, 914-579-1000. Net proceeds from the event will go toward the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs.