Madonna and Jay Z have been nominated for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. And you thought Trump signaled the end of the world.
Madonna’s hits were all written by other people. Two of those people, Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly– who wrote “Like a Virgin”–were inducted a few years ago. Madonna wouldn’t come to the ceremony even to sing the song, and the guys made jokes about it.
Most of Madonna’s early hits were written by Stephen Bray and or Patrick Leonard. William Orbit took over after that. Maybe you could say Madonna “inspired” some of her hits. But this isn’t the Inspiration Hall of Fame. Every songwriter already inducted should sign a petition against this.
This is the 2nd time SHOF has tried to get Madonna in there. If it works, it’s sad.
As for Jay Z, his inspiration for “songwriting” is taking existing pieces of music– a like a song from “Annie”– and using it to support his rap lyrics. Jay Z doesn’t know how to write music and hasn’t written music. His raps are great, they belong in the Rap Hall of Fame. They could even be considered a form of poetry. But they are not songs.
The other nominees actually wrote songs: Cat Stevens, Gloria Estefan, the late PJ Sloan, Bryan Adams, George Michael, the amazing Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart, as well Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Swedish hitmaker Max Martin. All of them deserve to be inducted.
Hal David must be spinning in his grave today. Really. The music publishers are really leaning on the SHOF now like never before. All things must pass away.