Steve Miller and the Eurythmics lead the inductees to the 2020 Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF). Among the other inductees are Mariah Carey, the Isley Brothers, the Neptunes — Chad Hugo & Pharrell, Rick Nowels, and legendary Motown songwriter Mickey Stevenson. Additional awards will be announced in the coming months. The SHOF's 51st Annual Induction & Awards Gala will take place on June 11th at Manhattan's Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Among those shortlisted for induction who were passed over this year are R.E.M., Journey's Steve Perry, Neal Schon, and Jonathan Cain; the Crickets' Sonny Curtis; Patti Smith, Vince Gill, Gloria Estefan, Bread's David Gates; Mike Love; and Monkees songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, among others.
Steve Miller told us that there's no great science as to why his music still receives so much radio airplay and crowd reaction in concert. Although Miller is considered a world-class blues guitarist, he says that it all comes down to the songs: “I think the reason my songs are still around is that they're simple on the first blush, they seem to be fairly simple tunes. There's a lot of harmony, a lot of harmony singing parts, and then when you go through the layers of the lyrics, they have meaning to people. And I think the main thing is that they're positive lyrics (laughs) and people like to sing.”
Dave Stewart told us that he and Annie Lennox had a clear vision of the way they wanted to approach the Eurythmics' music from the get-go: “We were very adamant, y'know, about how we wanted to be. We wrote a manifesto on the wall in the studio. Y'know, we would write words like 'Motown,' and next to it we'd put, like 'Love.' But then we'd also put 'Cold. Icy. Electronic Music. Love,' thinking 'How the hell do we marry cold, icy electronic music with Motown?' But we managed.”