Songwriters Hall of Fame 2023 Inducts Jeff Lynne, Gloria Estefan

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Jeff Lynne and Joe Walsh at the 2023 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis, June 15 (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall of Fame)

The Songwriters Hall of Fame held its 54th Annual Induction & Awards Gala, on June 15, 2023, in New York City, honoring the Class of 2023. The inductees were Jeff Lynne, Gloria Estefan, Glen Ballard, Liz Rose, and Teddy Riley. Special awards went to Tim Rice, who received the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award; Post Malone, who got the Hal David Starlight Award; and CBS broadcaster Anthony Mason, who was honored with the Patron of the Arts Award.

The evening kicked off with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh singing a rendition of Electric Light Orchestra’s hit “Don’t Bring Me Down” before he inducted Lynne, praising the latter’s “unmatched talent to bring a great song, bring it to life, and turn it into an incredible record.” Following his induction, Lynne himself performed “Mr. Blue Sky.”

A few days later, Lynne wrote, “I was honored to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame last week alongside an incredible group of artists. Special thank you to my friend Joe Walsh for presenting me with this honor. This is a club I’m proud to be a part of! 🛸”

Later, Songwriters Hall of Famer Valerie Simpson inducted Estefan as the first Hispanic woman in the Hall, calling her a “pop music force of nature, creating songs that touch fans of all backgrounds around the globe.” In her remarks, Estefan said, “my fans may know me better than some of my closest friends. That is the beauty and danger of being a songwriter. We lay ourselves bare.” She then sang a medley of some of her greatest songs, “Reach,” “Words Get in the Way,” “Anything for You,” “Can’t Stay Away from You,” “Don’t Wanna Lose You,” Con Los Años Que Me Quedan,” and “Let’s Get Loud.” She was then joined by her husband / collaborator Emilio Estefan and grandson Sasha Estefan for an energizing finale, performing Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine’s iconic “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” to end the ceremony.

When the news of his induction was announced, Lynne wrote, “I’m very excited about this honor. Songwriting has always been my passion. This means so much to me.” The founder of the Electric Light Orchestra wrote, arranged and produced virtually all of ELO’s recordings. He later collaborated with Tom Petty and George Harrison, and with those two he co-founded the Traveling Wilburys along with Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.

Estefan is a seven-time Grammy Award winner and one of the biggest Latin music crossover stars of all time. She has earned three #1 pop hits.

Ballard is a six-time Grammy-winner, who co-wrote and produced the Alanis Morissette album, Jagged Little Pill, among his accomplishments. Riley is credited with the creation of the New Jack Swing genre where he fused hip-hop and R&B in his productions for such artists as Keith Sweat and Johnny Kemp.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

The Songwriters Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of those composers and lyricists who create music around the world. A songwriter with a notable catalog of songs qualifies for induction 20 years after the first significant commercial release of a song.

Related: Tom Petty and Elvis Costello were among those selected in 2016

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7 Comments so far

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  1. Ray
    #1 Ray 18 January, 2023, 14:07

    Jeff Lynne was way overdue, but Snoop gets in and Johnston, McDonald, and Simmons don’t? Ridiculous.

    Reply this comment
    • JCB
      JCB 19 January, 2023, 08:46

      A complete joke. Sad to see these institutions kowtow to no talents and leave great talents waiting.

      Reply this comment
  2. Da Mick
    #2 Da Mick 19 January, 2023, 05:50

    The disparity as songwriters between Jeff Lynne and the rest who are getting in should tell you all you need to know about the “Songwriter’s Hall of Fame,” not to mention those chosen versus who actually were chosen. I don’t see much difference in the integrity of this organization than I do with the ridiculousness of the R&R Hall of Fame. I don’t really see the point of these organizations as they exist now.

    Reply this comment
  3. Stuart
    #3 Stuart 19 January, 2023, 06:41

    I’m amazed that Boyce and Hart aren’t already in.

    Reply this comment
  4. Goldy
    #4 Goldy 19 January, 2023, 11:14

    Steve Winwood didn’t make it in? What a joke.

    Reply this comment
  5. Chris
    #5 Chris 19 January, 2023, 17:02

    Jeff Lynne is a genius, period. But to leave out Steve Winwood, Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons, Mike McDonald, the Wilson sisters, guys/gals who’ve been writing generational music for over 60yrs tells me its just another Hall of Fame with no credibility.

    Reply this comment
  6. Cary
    #6 Cary 20 January, 2023, 02:09

    The Songwriters Hall of Fame recognizes those whose lyrics gave had a transformative effect on advancing the craft of writing lyrics that have influenced songwriters who have come after them. No doubt Lynne has done that with his work with ELO as well as the Beatles, Joe Walsh, The Traveling Wilburys, Roy Orbison etc. As for the others … meh.

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