Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2021 Inductees

On Tuesday, July 13, The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame announced the inductees for the Class of 2021. Among those to be honored are Amy Grant, Toby Keith, Rhett Akins, Buddy Cannon, and John Scott Sherrill. The five new members will join 213 previously inducted members of the organization during the “50/51” Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Nov. 1 at the Music City Center.

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According to a statement from Sarah Cates, chair of the organization’s board of directors, and Mark Ford, executive director, the five iconic country acts will be inducted this fall.

“Today is one of my favorite days of the year, as we begin our journey to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala in November with the announcement of our upcoming class,” says Cates.

“Nashville has always been the home of legendary songs written by the world’s finest songwriters—and this class is no exception. It’s our great honor today to welcome our class of 2021: Rhett Akins and Buddy Cannon in the songwriter category; John Scott Sherrill in the veteran songwriter category; Toby Keith as our songwriter/artist and Amy Grant as our veteran songwriter/artist.”

Akins’ songwriter credits include his own 1995 hit “That Ain’t My Truck,” as well as “Honey Bee” (Blake Shelton) and “It Goes Like This” (Thomas Rhett). Cannon is known for songs such as “Set ’Em Up Joe” (Vern Gosdin), “I’ve Come To Expect It From You” (George Strait) and “Give It Away” (George Strait), while Sherrill’s hits include “Wild And Blue” (John Anderson), “The Church On Cumberland Road” (Shenandoah) and “How Long Gone” (Brooks & Dunn).

Grant popularized many of her own compositions, including “Baby Baby,” “That’s What Love Is For” and “Tennessee Christmas.” Keith recorded many of his self-penned hits, including “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” “How Do You Like Me Now?!” and “As Good As I Once Was.”

“I’m thrilled to be included in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Class of 2021 and honored to be part of such a vibrant songwriting community,” Grant said in a statement on Twitter. “I want to encourage anybody who has ever had a creative thought, your voice is unique to you and the world needs your stories.

The inductees were selected from a pool of 12 nominees which also included Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Mary Ann Kennedy, David Malloy, Frank J. Myers ,Tia Sillers, Shania Twain, and Phil Vassar.

Because the organization’s 50th Anniversary celebration was postponed last year, this year’s event will honor two classes in a special double-sized event that will also spotlight NaSHOF’s previously named Class of 2020: Steve Earle, Bobbie Gentry, Kent Blazy, Brett James, and Spooner Oldham.

Pictured (L-R): Sarah Cates, chair of the organization’s board of directors, with inductees John Scott Sherrill, Amy Grant, Buddy Cannon, and Rhett Akins; Mark Ford, NaSOF’s executive director. Photo: Bev Moser

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