Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inducts Class of 2016

Bob Morrison, Aaron Barker, Will Van Zandt (accepting on behalf of his father, the late Townes Van Zandt), and Beth Nielsen Chapman at the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame induction.(Photo: Bev Moser)

There’s not much that rattles singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman. But before her induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, she was nervous. "This is the top echelon of songwriters… I’m nervous to stand before my tribe,” she admitted. “I’m thrilled and honored, but it’s also just an incredible sense of awe of being in front of this particular audience.”
Chapman, who penned Willie Nelson's "Nothing I Can Do About It Now" and co-wrote Faith Hill's crossover smash "This Kiss," was one of four writers inducted into the hall during a gala at the Music City Center Sunday night. She and Aaron Barker ("Love without End, Amen") were inducted in the Songwriter category, Bob Morrison ("Lookin' for Love") in the Veteran category and the late Townes Van Zandt ("If I Needed You") in the Songwriter/Artist category. These inductees, said NaSHOF member and Board Chair Pat Alger, exemplify "the high standards that have helped to make Nashville the songwriting capital of the world."
"This is the highest honor this industry offers for what I do. I don’t even know how to say thank you," said Barker, before deadpanning, "I thought (my induction) was a typo. If they’ve got it wrong, they’re not getting their award back."
For Morrison, being recognized by his fellow songwriters made his induction even more special: "It’s nice to have a hit song, but it’s a lot nicer when your peers say, 'Hey, you did all right.' "
Journalist and NaSHOF board historian Robert K. Oermann received the organization's Keystone Award in appreciation for his commitment to Music City's songwriting community, and Bill Lowery was posthumously honored with the Frances Williams Preston Mentor Award.
The Nashville Songwriters Association International also presented its annual Songwriter Achievement Awards on Sunday. Lori McKenna's "Humble and Kind" was named Song of the Year. Ashley Gorley took home Songwriter of the Year honors, and Cole Swindell was named Songwriter/Artist of the Year. The NSAI also presented their "10 Songs I Wish I'd Written" Awards to a number of writers and their songs, including "Burning House" (written by Jeff Bhasker, Cam and Tyler Johnson) and "Record Year" (Eric Church and Jeff Hyde).

Juli Thanki , 10:02 p.m. CDT October 9, 2016

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