Prior Award Recipients Include Clive Davis, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross

This Year’s SHOF Inductees Include Bill Anderson, Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor P/K/A “Kool & The Gang,” Steve Dorff, Jermaine Dupri, Alan Jackson, John Mellencamp and Allee Willis


February 23, 2018 – New York – Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group (UMG), will be honored by Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) as the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award at the Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 14th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

The Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award, named after one of the SHOF’s distinguished founders, is specifically tailored for an artist or “star maker” in the music industry who has been responsible for a substantial number of hit songs for an extended period, and most importantly, recognizes the genuine significance of the song and songwriter. Previous Hitmaker Award honorees include Garth Brooks, Clive Davis, Gloria Estefan, Whitney Houston, Sir Tom Jones, Doug Morris, Phil Ramone, Diana Ross and Seymour Stein.

“While today Sir Lucian runs the world’s leading music company, he began his career nearly 40 years ago as a ‘song plugger’ for April Blackwood Music. His career in music publishing continued over the years, including launching Polygram Music Publishing U.K. and building it into one of the biggest publishers. He epitomizes what the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award represents,” said SHOF Co-Chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff.

SHOF President and CEO, Linda Moran, stated, “Throughout his rise to the top of the music industry, from ‘song plugger’ to a mega power player and star maker, Sir Lucian has always recognized that it all truly begins with a song and has never ceased championing songwriters.”

Grainge has spent his entire career in the music industry and has signed and worked with many worldwide stars, including ABBA, Elton John, Migos, Queen, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, U2, The Weeknd and Amy Winehouse, among many others.  Having spent the first part of his career as a talent scout, Grainge achieved early success with artists including Psychedelic Furs, Eurythmics and the Pet Shop Boys, to name a few.  His unique ability to identify global hit songs earned him a reputation as one of the most successful A&R executives in the industry.

Throughout his career Grainge not only pioneered new approaches to the signing and development of the world’s most successful recording artists and songwriters but he has consistently championed the development of innovative business models and partnerships with a wide range of technology and media partners around the world. His inspiring leadership has been recognized as having returned the music industry to growth after suffering more than a decade of decline.

Under Grainge’s leadership, UMG set numerous creative records including being the first music company with nine of the top 10 songs on Billboard’s Digital Songs chart and the first music company to score all 10 of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100.

Grainge has been recognized for his many achievements throughout the years. He topped Billboard Magazine’s “Power 100” as the most powerful executive in the music business numerous times, the only person to hold that distinction three times and for consecutive years. In 2016, Berklee College of Music presented Grainge with an honorary doctor of music degree, in 2015 he received the Spirit of Life Award from City of Hope and in 2014, he was awarded the President’s Merit Award by The Recording Academy.

A native of London, Sir Lucian was bestowed with a knighthood in 2016 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours list for accomplishments in the music industry and leadership through its challenging times, contributions to British business and inward investment, as well as his development of innovative business models, technology and media partnerships that have expanded UMG’s global presence. For his service to global creative industries, he was recognized in Britain’s New Years Honors and awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2010. That same year, he was named a Trustee of the American Friends of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Grainge serves on the boards of Lionsgate Entertainment and Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Inductees at this year’s event include Bill Anderson, Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor P/K/A “Kool & The Gang,” Steve Dorff, Jermaine Dupri, Alan Jackson, John Mellencamp and Allee Willis.

About The Songwriters Hall of Fame:

The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. West Coast educational activities are held at The GRAMMY Museum, which hosts the permanent Songwriters Hall of Fame Gallery, and at the University of Southern California. Out of the tens of thousands of songwriters of our era, there are approximately 400 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined in the Hall of Fame. To qualify for induction, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs. The list of inductees include Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland, Smokey Robinson, Paul Williams, Hal David & Burt Bacharach, Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes & David Porter, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Don Schlitz, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Diane Warren, Paul Anka, Stevie Wonder, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry, Mac Davis, Leonard Cohen, Ray Davies, Donovan, Cyndi Lauper,  Desmond Child, Mick Jones & Lou Gramm, Chip Taylor, Elvis Costello, Marvin Gaye, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards, Lionel Richie, Bill Withers, Neil Diamond, Jay Z, Tom Petty, Toby Keith, Max Martin, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Berry Gordy, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Robert Lamm & James Pankow among many others.

Full biographies and a complete list of inductees are available on the Songwriters Hall of Fame website at Joining online is quick and easy: