Garth Brooks has been roped into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame; the country music icon joins Leon Russell, Allen Toussaint, John Bettis, Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly in the 2011 class of inductees. Last year saw Leonard Cohen, Jackie DeShannon, and Earth Wind & Fire join the Hall of Fame ranks.
The new members will be inducted during a special ceremony on June 16 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Says Jimmy Webb, the Hall’s new chairman, “We are inspired by the striking caliber and range of the 2011 Songwriters Hall of Fame class. John, Garth, Leon, Billy, Tom, and Allen each represent a unique breed of artist, warmly respected by their peers and revered by all lovers of song. As songwriters, their work has forever enriched our world’s music.”
John Bettis, who wrote Thriller’s “Human Nature” for Michael Jackson, penned hits for Madonna, George Strait, Celine Dion, and many more. He also worked in film music and wrote the TV themes for Growing Pains and Murphy Brown. Steinberg and Kelly co-wrote Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional,” and Madonna’s “Like A Virgin.” Brooks, Toussaint and Russell have left indelible marks on the pop music landscape as songwriters and recording artists.
Visit the Songwriters Hall of Fame online here.