The 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony is set to take place later this month on June 14 at New York City’s Marriot Marquis Hotel. As previously reported, this year's class for the exclusive club includes John Mellencamp, Alan Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, Kool & the Gang, “I’ll Be There For You” (From “Friends”) co-writer Allee Willis, country legend Bill Anderson and recent Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Steve Dorff. Now the ceremony appears to have added few more names onto its guest list, as The Weeknd, Jason Mraz, ‘American Idol’ winner Fantasia and Tony Award-winning theater performer Brandon Victor Dixon have all been announced as performers for the event. The news comes just a day after The Weeknd appeared on a brand new single from Belly with "What You Want," which can be heard in its official music video seen above.
As Billboard reports, fellow artists and entertainment industry veterans including songwriter/production duo Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Leon Bridges, actor Stephen Dorff (son of Steve), Chad Elliott, Four Seasons member Bob Gaudio, Nora Guthrie (daughter of Woody Guthrie), country producer Keith Stegall and longtime pop/country singer Steve Wariner will all be in attendance as guests and presenters, with some possibly set to perform, although details were not shared with Friday’s announcement. The report also went on to mention that contemporary pop songwriter/singer/pianist Sara Bareilles will receive “special honors” at the ceremony alongside Neil Diamond and Universal Music Group’s CEO, Lucian Grainge.
“Each year, the slate of songwriters we induct is more diverse and illustrative of the history and contributions that we strive to acknowledge and honor,” the organization said when initially announcing this year’s induction class back in February. “We could not be more excited to preside over this year’s event and to give these songwriters their due respect.”
Maybe the most notable 2018 inductee is Jermaine Dupri, who wrote/produced hits for fellow rap and R&B artists like Janet Jackson, Usher, Mariah Carey and Jay-Z, just to name a few. Dupri’s induction this summer follows the 2017 class where Jay-Z became the first hip-hop artist to be voted into the prestigious group.