By Robyn Collins
Considered one of contemporary music’s most influential lyricists and entertainers, Jay Z has been named one of the nominees for the 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame. If selected, he would be the first rapper to receive the prestigious award.
Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years. Jay Z, who released his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996, has written multiple hits in the last two decades, from “Big Pimpin’,” to “Empire State of Mind.”
The list of nominees, which was announced Thursday (Oct. 20), also includes: George Michael, Madonna, Bryan Adams, Vince Gill, Babyface, Max Martin, Kool & the Gang, Cat Stevens, Sly Stone, Chicago, Gloria Estefan, Jeff Lynne and David Gates.
The non-performing nominees are Kenny Nolan, Randy Goodrum, Tony Macaulay, William “Mickey” Stevenson, Allee Willis, Maury Yeston, Paul Overstreet and the songwriting duos Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, and Steve Barri and the late P.F. Sloan, who died last year.
Eligible members are able to vote for three non-performing songwriters and two performing songwriters until Dec. 16. Five writers or writing teams will be officially inducted in New York on June 15, 2017.