Jay Z to be first rapper inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

Jay Z is to become the first rapper ever inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in the US.

The music star – whose debut album Reasonable Doubt was released in 1996 – will join the Hall as part of its 2017 class.

Announcing the latest crop of inductees on American TV programme CBS This Morning, Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers said 21-time Grammy winner Jay Z had “changed the way we listen to music”.

Songwriting heavyweights including Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Max Martin and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis will also be inducted, alongside Chicago band members Robert Lamm, James Pankow and Peter Cetera.

Motown founder Berry Gordy will also join, after deferring his induction in 2016.

Songwriters Hall of Fame co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and president Linda Moran said: “With our 2017 roster of inductees, the Songwriters Hall of Fame moves definitively into recognising music creators of the 21st century while continuing to honour the greats of earlier decades.

“The combination of contemporary sounds and timeless hits of the past is certain to make for an unforgettable evening.”

Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit tracks for at least 20 years.

The organisation’s 48th annual induction and awards dinner will take place in New York on June 15.

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