Garth Brooks, Leon Russell Among Songwriters HoF Inductees

Garth Brooks, John Bettis, Leon Russell, Allen Toussaint and Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly are tapped to become the newest members of the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

Photo: Andy Argyrakis /
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.

Brooks’ songwriting talents are pretty obvious, having chalked up credit for hits like “Thunder Rolls,” “If Tomorrow Never Comes” and “Unanswered Prayers.” Russell’s accomplishments are equally impressive and include “A Song For You,” “Delta Lady,” “Tight Rope,” “This Masquerade” and “Back To The Island.” “Superstar,” which Russell co-wrote with Bonnie Bramlett, was a big hit for The Carpenters.

Toussaint’s credits include “Working In The Coal Mine,” “Sneaking Sally Thru The Alley” and “Yes We Can” which was recorded by The Pointer Sisters.

Bettis’ songs have sold more than 250 million records and have been recorded by folks ranging from George Strait to Michael Jackson and include “Human Nature,” “Yesterday Once More” and “Crazy For You.”

Photo: Barry Brecheisen
Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Telluride, Colo.

And just about everyone has sung along to a Billy Steinberg / Tom Kelly song playing on the radio. The team’s credits include Madonna’s “Like A Virgin,” Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” and Heart’s “Alone.”

“We are inspired by the striking caliber and range of the 2011 Songwriters Hall of Fame class,” chairman/legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb said. “John, Garth, Leon, Billy, Tom and Allen each represent a unique breed of artist, warmly respected by their peers and revered by all lovers of song. As songwriters, their work has forever enriched our world’s music.”

Photo: John Davisson
Daytona Beach Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, Fla.

The annual induction and awards dinner is scheduled for June 16 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Additional special award honorees will be announced soon. For more information, click here for the Songwriters Hall Of Fame website.