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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

Paul Williams to receive top Songwriters Hall of Fame Award

Paul Williams

Paul Williams (Songwriters Hall of Fame)

Songwriter Paul Williams will receive the coveted Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) Johnny Mercer Award at the 51st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner, to be held June 11th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the SHOF and is exclusively reserved for a songwriter (or songwriting team) who has already been inducted into the hall, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact that it upholds the gold standard set by legendary songwriter and SHOF co-founder Johnny Mercer.

Williams was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. “Paul Williams is a songwriter’s songwriter,” said SHOF chairman Nile Rodgers. “He’s one of the most wonderful and colorful creators of our time and a man who has given the world so much love through songs like ‘Just an Old Fashioned Love Song,’ ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ and ‘Rainbow Connection.’ As my fellow collaborator on Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, it’s a pleasure for all of us at the Songwriters Hall Of Fame to be able to repay that love with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award to go along with his Oscar, three Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and Ivor Novello International Award, as well as his earned induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.”

As president/chairman of the board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Williams is a leading spokesman for music creators in the digital age.

Besides music creators’ rights, he is passionate about recovery, and works tirelessly to destigmatize alcoholism and addiction: Sober nearly 30 years and a UCLA-certified drug rehab counselor, his career, life, and work in recovery have been documented in the acclaimed film Paul Williams Still Alive; his humorous observations on life, love, and creativity were recorded in his book (co-written with Tracey Jackson) Gratitude and Trust: Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life.

But Williams himself feels he’ll be remembered most for playing Little Enos in the Smokey and the Bandit movie trilogy--and for his lyrics to The Love Boat theme, co-written with Charlie Fox.

Previously announced, the 2020 SHOF inductees are Mariah Carey, the Eurhythmics’ team of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, the Isley Brothers (Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley and Chris Jasper), Steve Miller, The Neptunes’ team of Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, Rick Nowels, and William “Mickey” Stevenson. Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of those composers and lyricists who create music around the world. To qualify for induction, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs.



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