Country crooner Garth Brooks and rock musician Leon Russell are being recognized for their talents as tunesmiths with Tuesday’s announcement that they — along with the team of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, John Bettis, and Allen Toussaint — are being inducted into the Songwriting Hall of Fame. The six men will be feted in a June 16 ceremony in New York City.
Brooks reigns as the top-selling solo artist, with eight No. 1 albums in the US. Among his best known songs are “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” and “She’s Every Woman.”
Russell is enjoying a renaissance with his recent record with Elton John, “The Union.” He is to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month for crafting such classics as “A Song for You” and “Superstar.”
Steinberg and Kelly have co-written five No. 1 singles including “Like a Virgin” for Madonna and “True Colors” for Cyndi Lauper as well as the Pretenders classic “I’ll Stand By You.”
Bettis’ string of hits extends from “Top of the World” for the Carpenters with to “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson. “One Moment in Time,” sung by Whitney Houston, became a theme to the 1988 Summer Olympics, winning an Emmy.
Toussaint first had success in 1966 with the pop tune “Working in the Coal Mine.” He contended for a Song of the Year Grammy in 1977 for the country hit “Southern Nights.” And he arranged the classic disco ditty “Lady Marmalade.”