NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) – The Songwriters Hall of Fame has today (Feb. 25) announced that Paul Williams will be the 2020 recipient of the esteemed Johnny Mercer Award at the 51st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner.
The Johnny Mercer Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is exclusively reserved for a songwriter or songwriting team who has already been inducted in a prior year, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact, that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer. Paul Williams was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001.
SHOF Chairman Nile Rodgers said: “Paul Williams is a songwriter’s songwriter. He’s one of the most wonderful and colorful creators of our time and a man who has given the world so much love through songs like ‘Just An Old Fashioned Love Song,’ ‘We’ve Only Just Begun,’ and ‘Rainbow Connection.’ As my fellow collaborator on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, it’s a pleasure for all of us at the Songwriters Hall Of Fame to be able to repay that love with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award to go along with his Oscar, three Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and Ivor Novello International Award, as well as his earned induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.”
Although Williams is widely known as an actor in dozens of films and on television (fun fact: he played Little Enos in the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy), it is his musical legacy that continues to inspire. Williams’ standards have been recorded by such diverse musical icons as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, David Bowie, Tony Bennett, The Carpenters, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Willie Nelson, Gonzo and Kermit The Frog, among others. Additionally, he is a six-time Oscar winner, nine-time Grammy Award winner, and six-time Golden Globe winner. He’s also received two Emmy nominations.
Currently, Williams serves as President and Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and is a leading spokesman for music creators in the digital age. He is also a Certified Drug Rehabilitation Counselor, who works tirelessly to destigmatize alcoholism and addiction. 30 years sober himself, Williams’ career, life, and work in recovery have been chronicled in the acclaimed documentary, Paul Williams Still Alive.
The 51st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner is slated for Thursday, June 11th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
Additional inductees at this year’s event include Mariah Carey, Annie Lennox / Dave Stewart p/k/a Eurythmics, Ernie Isley / Marvin Isley / O’Kelly Isley / Ronald Isley / Rudolph Isley / Chris Jasper p/k/a The Isley Brothers, Steve Miller, Chad Hugo / Pharrell Williams p/k/a The Neptunes, Rick Nowels and William “Mickey” Stevenson.