Hip hop and R&B mainstays are well-represented in next year’s Songwriters Hall of Fame nominees. Associated Press reported on Tuesday (Nov. 5) that The Isley Brothers, Outkast and The Neptunes rank among the 24 nominated acts.
Songwriters become eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo’s The Neptunes pioneered the pop, hip hop and R&B genres from the ‘90s through the 2000’s, writing and producing hits for Beyoncé, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, Ciara and more.
A few of the Virginia-based songwriting/ production duo’s hits include Nelly’s “Hot In Herre,” Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl,” Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” Ludacris’ “Money Maker,” JAY-Z’s “Excuse Me Miss,” Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U” and many more. Williams and Hugo also made history by introducing the Virginia duo Clipse, made up of Pusha T and No Malice, and launching their genre-blending band, N.E.R.D.
Emerging onto the Atlanta hip hop scene in the ‘90s, Outkast received critical acclaim for their albums Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, ATLiens, Aquemini and Stankonia. Andre 3000 and Big Boi’s 2003 double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which featured the hit “Hey Ya!,” went on to win the Album of the Year Grammy Award.
The entire 2020 Songwriters Hall of Fame nominees include Steve Miller, Annie Lennox / David Stewart, R.E.M., Roger Nichols, Tommy Boyce / Bobby Hart, Patti Smith, The Neptunes, Vince Gill, Gloria Estefan, L. Russell Brown / Irwin Levine, William “Mickey” Stevenson, Mike Love, Mariah Carey, Outkast, Rick Nowels, Kyle Fleming / Dennis Morgan, Journey, The Isley Brothers, Lynn Ahrens / Stephen Flaherty, David Gates, Jarry Fuller, Tony Macaulay, Bob McDill and Sonny Curtis.
If inducted, Outkast and Williams will join hip hop Songwriters Hall of Famers Missy Elliot, JAY-Z and Jermaine Dupri. JAY became the first rapper inductee in 2017, followed by Dupri in 2018. This year, Missy Elliot became the first female rapper to join the elite Songwriters Hall of Fame class.
The 51st Annual Induction & Awards Gala will take place in New York City on June 11, 2020. Voters will have until Dec. 16, 2019 to turn in their ballots and vote for three performing songwriters and three nonperforming songwriters.