Congratulations are in order for rap legend Jay Z who will become the first rapper in history inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. Max Martin, Babyface and Chicago's Robert Lamm were among the other inductees announced on CBS This Morning on 22 February.
The milestone was a long-time coming for Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, who has amassed more number one albums than any other rapper with 13 under his belt. Swedish songwriter Max Martin has a staggering 22 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which is only one behind The Beatles icons Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
Martin, 45, has worked with the most successful names in pop music, including Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande to name just a few. Motown founder Berry Gordy will feature in the class of 2017 after deferring his induction from 2016.
Announcing the new list of inductees, Chic star Nile Rodgers, who was inducted last year, said of the honour: "As a composer, this is the pinnacle. As artists, this is where you are alongside Rodgers & Hammerstein, Gershwin, Comden & Green as well as Al Green."
Songwriters Hall Of Fame co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff as well as President Linda Moran, said in a statement: "The songwriters we honour cross genres, regional and even national boundaries – r'n'b, rap, pop and rock 'n' roll from both coasts, the American heartland and Sweden. We are thrilled to once more have the opportunity to preside over an event that recognises the convergence of song craft and musical performance at the very highest level."
Babyface, real name Kenneth Edmonds, is one of the most acclaimed songwriters in r'n'b with a career spanning four decades, during which time he has created 26 number one hits. Fellow inductees Jam & Lewis co-wrote Janet Jackson's first chart-topping hit while eight others have also reached the chart summit.
Further award honorees are expected to be announced in the coming months. The Songwriters Hall Of Fame induction ceremony is set to take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City on 15 June.