Neil Diamond will be honored with the Johnny Mercer Award at this year’s Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony, being held June 14 in New York City. The award is the Hall’s highest honor and is reserved exclusively for past inductees — Diamond was inducted in 1984.
The Johnny Mercer Award goes to a songwriter or songwriting team whose body of work is of such high quality and impact that it “upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer,” the Hall said.
“Having always been the consummate wordsmith, Neil Diamond has honed the craft of the hook to a fine art, and his storied performances are gifts to people of all ages, genres and backgrounds,” said SHOF Co-Chairmen Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
Diamond’s songwriting credits include “Solitary Man,” “Cherry, Cherry,” “America,” “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon,” “I’m A Believer,” “Red Red Wine,” “Holly Holy,” ‘Thank The Lord For The Night Time,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” Crackling’ Rose,” and, bah bah bah, “Sweet Caroline,” among many others.
Later this year, Diamond will receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to the Songwriters Hall, he’s also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was honored in 2011 at Kennedy Center Honors.
The Brooklyn native recently announced his retirement from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
SHOF president & CEO Linda Moran commented; “Neil is the quintessential songwriter, having been on the world radar for decades with anthemic songs that speak to everyone. We are so pleased to be presenting him with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award.”
Previous recipients of the Mercer Award include Alan Menken, Lionel Richie, Van Morrison, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Phil Collins, Paul Anka, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Carole King, among others.
The SHOF’s 49th annual induction and awards dinner is slated for Thursday, June 14 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in NYC. This year’s inductees include John Mellencamp, Jermaine Dupri and Alan Jackson, among others. As previously announced, Sir Lucian Grainge will receive the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award and Sara Bareilles will receive the Hal David Starlight Award.