Neil Diamond (Courtesy of Songwriters Hall of Fame)
Neil Diamond will receive the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) Johnny Mercer Award at the 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner June 14 at New York’s Marriott Marquis Hotel.
The award is the organization’s highest honor and is bestowed upon a songwriter or songwriting team who has already been inducted in a prior year, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact that it upholds the gold standard set by founding president Johnny Mercer.
Neil Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984.
“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—themselves Mercer honorees. Added SHOF president/CEO Linda Moran: “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.”
Among the world’s most noted and successful recording artists, Diamond’s initial recognition came as a songwriter. His career awards include a Grammy, Golden Globe, Kennedy Center Honor and the SHOF Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and has been awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the MusiCares Person Of The Year honor.
Past Johnny Mercer Award recipients have included Alan Menken, Lionel Richie, Van Morrison, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Phil Collins, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Paul Anka, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Paul Simon, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Stephen Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.
This year’s SHOF inductees are Bill Anderson, Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor (professionally known as Kool & The Gang), Steve Dorff, Jermaine Dupri, Alan Jackson, John Mellencamp and Allee Willis.
Sir Lucian Grainge will receive the SHOF Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award, and Sara Bareilles is the Hal David Starlight Award honoree. Additional special SHOF award recipients will be announced soon.
Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of those composers and lyricists who create music around the world. To qualify for induction, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs.