The Songwriters Hall of Fame will induct John Bettis, Garth Brooks, Leon Russell, Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly and Allen Toussaint at the organization's 42nd Annual Induction and Awards Dinner, to be held June 16th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
--Bettis has written songs that have been sung by artists like Michael Jackson, George Strait, Celine Dion, Madonna, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, and Karen Carpenter, among others. His songs include: "Human Nature," "Heartland," "Top Of The World," "Yesterday Once More," "Good-Bye To Love," "Only Yesterday," "Can You Stop The Rain?," "One Moment In Time," "Crazy For You," and "Slow Hand."
--Brooks has sold more than 68 million albums since the inception of Nielsen SoundScan in 1991, and 128 million albums worldwide, according to the inductee announcement
--The songwriting credits of Leon Russell include "A Song For You," "This Masquerade," " Delta Lady," " Tight Rope," "Bluebird," " Back To The Island," and "Hummingbird." Russell's song, "If it Wasn't for Bad," from his 2010 duet album "The Union," with Elton John, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Russell was a well-known session musician in Los Angeles during the 1960's, and played on hit records by The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass, Gary Lewis and The Playboys, among others.
--Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly songs include five co-writing credits, which resulted in No. 1 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 chart: Madonna's "Like A Virgin," Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," Whitney Houston's "So Emotional," The Bangles' "Eternal Flame," and Heart's "Alone."
The duo have also have written or co-written for Tina Turner, Roy Orbison, Pat Benatar, Belinda Carlisle, Bette Midler, Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood and The Divinyls. The two songwriters began working together in 1981 and recorded an album as I-10 on Epic Records in 1983.
--Allen Toussaint, one of the most influential figures in New Orleans R&B, has produced, written, arranged or had songs covered by and performed with music giants like Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Mac "Dr. John" Rebannac, Aaron and Art Neville, Joe Cocker, the Meters, Glen Campbell, the Band, Little Feat, The Rolling Stones, Devo, Irma Thomas, and Etta James, among others.
Toussaint, who began his career as a RCA solo artist, saw two of his earliest tunes become instrumental standards: Al Hirt's "Java;" and Herb Alpert's "Whipped Cream. Toussaint, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, then went onto team up with Lee Dorsey turning out a string of hits including, "Working In The Coalmine."