Tom Petty and Elvis Costello were among the honorees Thursday night in New York City as the Songwriters Hall of Fame held its annual induction gala.
Costello was saluted by Mumford and Sons‘ Marcus Mumford, who performed “Pump It Up” and called Costello his “hero.”
On the red carpet, Costello was asked about the fact that his musical output has encompassed rock, soul, punk, classical and country. He said he never set out to take on every musical genre, explaining, “I just liked a lot of different music. I didn’t really know the word genre. I don’t speak French!”
Petty was inducted by The Byrds‘ Roger McGuinn, who was a huge influence on Petty and his music. McGuinn performed “American Girl” — which he recorded himself a few months after Petty’s original came out. Legend has it that when McGuinn’s manager first played him “American Girl,” he thought it sounded so much like him that he asked, “When did I write that song?”
Petty performed his new song “Forgive It All,” as well as “Angel Dream.”
Chip Taylor, who wrote “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning,” among other songs, was inducted by his brother, Oscar-winner Jon Voight. Taylor and his three grandaughters all sang “Wild Thing” together, while pop star Rachel Platten delivered a version of “Angel of the Morning.”
The B-52s performed “Love Shack” at the ceremony and then presented legendary record executive Seymour Stein with the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award, which is given to someone 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.”
Lionel Richie was given the Hall’s highest honor, the Johnny Mercer Award, and he called the evening “the best night of my life as a songwriter.” Jennifer Hudson saluted him by singing “Still,” and he himself played “Hello.”
Marvin Gaye was inducted posthumously, and so was Bernard Edwards of Chic. Edwards’ partner in music, Nile Rodgers, performed “Le Freak” and, with Sister Sledge, the hit song he and Edwards wrote for them: “We Are Family.”
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