“Each year we honor a few undeniably exceptional songwriters and we are always amazed at the depth of talent that continues to blossom in this town,” said Pat Alger, Board Chair of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation. “This year’s class takes its rightful place among the all-time greats that make up The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.”
Each inductee was given a devoted segment of the ceremony, which featured performances from some of country music’s biggest acts including Tim McGraw, Hunter Hayes, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and more.
Cash was inducted by fellow Hall of Fame songwriter Rodney Crowell and with performances of “Seven Year Ache” by Gill and“I Was Watching You” by Harris. Wiseman was also inducted by another Hall of Fame songwriter, Bob DiPiero, with Tim McGraw singing “Live Like You Were Dying,” Ronnie Dunn performing “Believe,” and Jeffrey Steele performing a medley of a dozen or so Wiseman-penned tracks.
James was inducted by BMI VP Writer Publisher Relations Jody Williams with Hunter Hayes performing “Suspicious Minds” and B.J. Thomas singing his 1968 hit “Hooked On A Feeling.” Even Stevens was inducted by Hall of Fame songwriter Hugh Prestwood with Loving Mary performing “Drivin’ My Life Away” and American Idol alum Paul McDonald singing “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman.”
The evening also featured presentations of the Songwriter Achievement Awards from Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).
Taylor Swift was awarded Songwriter/Artist of the Year for the seventh time in nine years, due to the success of her latest album, 1989. Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” (written by Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose) was voted Song of the Year, and Rodney Clawson was named Songwriter of the Year. Clawson is the co-writer of songs including such as Florida Georgia Line’s “Dirt” and Sippin’ On Fire,” Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down,” Lady Antebellum’s “Bartender” and Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids.”
NSAI also honored 11 outstanding tracks as “The Songs I Wish I’d Written,” including Swift’s “Shake It Off” and Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.” You can see out the full list of winning songs and songwriters below.
NSAI’s 2015 “The Songs I Wish I’d Written” :
“A Guy Walks Into A Bar” (Melissa Peirce, Jonathan Singleton, Brad Tursi / recorded by Tyler Farr)
“All About That Bass” (Kevin Kadish, Meghan Trainor / recorded by Meghan Trainor),
American Kids” (Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally / recorded by Kenny Chesney)
“Diamond Rings And Old Bar Stools” (Barry Dean, Luke Laird, Jonathan Singleton / recorded by Tim McGraw w/ Catherine Dunn)
“Dirt” (Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins / recorded by Florida Georgia Line)
“Girl In A Country Song” (Taylor Dye, Maddie Marlow, Aaron Scherz / recorded by Maddie & Tae)
“I Don’t Dance” (Lee Brice, Dallas Davidson, Rob Hatch / recorded by Lee Brice)
“Neon Light” (Andrew Dorff, Mark Irwin, Josh Kear / recorded by Blake Shelton)
“Raise ‘Em Up” (Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnston, Jeffrey Steele / recorded by Keith Urban w/ Eric Church)
“Shake It Off ” (Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift / recorded by Taylor Swift)
“She Don’t Love You” (Eric Paslay, Jennifer Wayne / recorded by Eric Paslay)