Missy Elliott, Jack Tempchin and Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame Class of 2019

By Erik Philbrook, ASCAP Editor in Chief  •  June 18, 2019

Justin Timberlake, Martin Bandier, Sara Bareilles, Jermaine Dupri, Queen Latifah, Dave Matthews, Bonnie Raitt, Timbaland among honorees and presenters

Songwriter stars lit up the night at the the 2019 Songwriters Hall of Fame 50th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner on June 13th in Manhattan. SHOF co-chair and ASCAP President Paul Williams joined industry leaders to recognize and celebrate some of the best songwriting legends of our time.

ASCAP music luminaries Missy Elliott, Jack Tempchin and Yusuf/Cat Stevens were inducted; music publishing titan Martin Bandier was presented with the Visionary Leadership Award; and Grammy Award-winning superstar Justin Timberlake received the Contemporary Icon Award.

The night presented multiple memorable moments celebrating the art of songwriting. The evening kicked off with a DJ set by Jermaine Dupri who brought the crowd to their feet with hits, including including three TLC classics: “Creep,” “What About Your Friend” and “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” as well as Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!),” Monica’s “Like This And Like That,” Madonna’s “Secret,” and Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly.”

Lukas Nelson performed “Peaceful Easy Feeling” before inducting Jack Tempchin, who is on a roll this year after an unforgettable performance at the ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO’s Writers Jam. Following Tempchin’s acceptance, he performed The Eagles’ “Already Gone.” Last year’s Hal David Starlight Award recipient Sara Bareilles performed her single “Brave,” alongside Jack Antonoff on guitar before honoring Martin Bandier with the Visionary Leadership Award.

Before inducting Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Dave Matthews performed his own rendition of “Father and Son.” Dave Matthews praised Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens by stating, “His music remains a testament to the growth and revolution he has committed to.” Yusuf / Cat Stevens was greeted with a standing ovation prior to performing this classic hit, “Roadsinger.”

Guitar legend Bonnie Raitt took to the stage to induct John Prine and joined him for a special performance of their song “Angel From Montgomery.”

ASCAP member Queen Latifah had the honor of introducing inductee, longtime friend and fellow ASCAP member Missy Elliott when the room was surprised with a video message from former First Lady Michelle Obama who stated, “Missy shows us that your voice is more than just the words you say, it’s about where they come from – it’s about owning your truth.” Following the video message, Lizzo performed an electrifying rendition of “Sock It To Me” with a surprise appearance by Da Brat.

ASCAP Board member Evan Lamberg presented President and CEO of Songwriters Hall of Fame Linda Moran with the first-ever Songwriters Hall of Fame Champion Award in honor of organization’s 50th anniversary.

Another ASCAP Board member Desmond Child joined other artists to celebrate the presentation of the Johnny Mercer Award to Carol Bayer Sager.

And the celebration wrapped up with Timbaland presenting Justin Timberlake with Contemporary Icon Award. During his acceptance, Justin stated, “There is no feeling like finishing a song, the only thing that can measure up is when you hear someone sing it back to you.” Justin went on to perform a medley of a number of his greatest hits including, “My Love,” “Cry Me A River,” “Say Something,” “What Goes Around,” “Mirrors,” and “Can’t Stop The Feeling.”

The audience jumped out of their seats, dancing and singing along throughout his entire performance. Before ending the night, Timbaland rejoined Justin on the stage for a spectacularly memorable performance of their smash single “SexyBack.”