The 2022 nominees for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (NaSHOF) have been announced. Of the 12 nominees, three will be inducted at the 52nd Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Sunday, October 30, 2022, at the Music City Center.
“We congratulate all of this year’s nominees in our contemporary categories and look forward to early August, when we will announce those who will be inducted as members of our Class of 2022,” says NaSHOF Executive Director Mark Ford.
The 2022 nominees in the Contemporary Songwriters category are Larry Cordle, Jim Lauderdale, Hillary Lindsey, Frank J. Myers, Gary Nicholson, Ronnie Rogers, Tia Sillers, and Tommy Sims. The 2022 nominees in the Contemporary Songwriter/Artists category are Kirk Franklin, Brad Paisley, Pam Tillis and Shania Twain.
All nominees experienced their first significant songs at least 20 years ago. A total of two songwriters and one songwriter/artist will be elected from the contemporary categories by members of the Hall of Fame along with other professional songwriters and artists from a variety of genres who are prominently identified with Nashville and who have written/co-written at least one original and significant Nashville song.
In addition, two more will be named to the Class of 2022. A separate body of veteran voters will elect a Veteran Songwriter and a Veteran Songwriter/Artist, both of whom experienced their first significant songs at least 30 years ago. As part of that process, nominees in those categories are not announced.
For biographical information on the 2022 nominees, see below:
Category 1 – CONTEMPORARY SONGWRITERS
Larry Cordle was raised in eastern Kentucky, where he began playing guitar and writing songs at a young age. His first two hits came from childhood friend Ricky Skaggs – #1 Country in 1983 with “Highway 40 Blues” and #1 Bluegrass in 1984 with “Two Highways” (also #1 Bluegrass for Alison Krauss in 1990). In the Country world, Larry is known for “Heartbreak Hurricane” by Skaggs, “Honky Tonk Crowd” by John Anderson and “Mama Don’t Forget To Pray For Me” by Diamond Rio. Before George Strait & Alan Jackson hit with “Murder On Music Row” – which was the 2001 CMA Song of the Year – Larry’s original recording with his band, Lonesome Standard Time (LST), was the 2000 IBMA Song of the Year and the 2001 SPBGMA Song of the Year. In the Bluegrass world, Larry & LST have had 24 Top 10 hits with his songs. In addition to “Anything Southbound” and “Black Diamond Strings,” LST’s “Lonesome Standard Time” was the 1993 IBMA Song of the Year, (and also a Country hit for Kathy Mattea). “If I’d Have Wrote That Song” by Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, was named the 2018 IBMA Song of the Year. Larry was named the 2001, 2019 and 2020 SPBGMA Songwriter of the Year. In 2015, he was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.
Born in Troutman, NC, Jim Lauderdale grew up in Due West, SC, where as a teenager he learned to play drums, harmonica and banjo. After college graduation in 1979, Jim made his way to Nashville for a few months before moving on to New York. By the late 1980s, Jim had joined the national touring production of Pump Boys & Dinettes and relocated to Los Angeles, where he began to find traction musically as a writer and performer. In the mid-1990s, Jim found his way back to Nashville, where he soon hit with “Gonna Get A Life” by Mark Chesnutt, “Halfway Down” by Patty Loveless and “When Did You Stop Loving Me” by George Strait, who also had hits with Jim’s “We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This,” “What Do You Say To That” and “I Gotta Get To You.” A recording artist himself with 30 albums, Jim also has numerous Bluegrass hits, including “Mighty Lonesome” and “One Blue Mule.” His collaborations with Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys have yielded the Top 10 “I Feel Like Singing Today” and “She’s Looking At Me,” the 2002 AMA Song of the Year. In recognition of his particular and significant influence on the Americana format, Jim was honored with the AMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Born in Washington, GA, Hillary Lindsey moved to Nashville in 1994 to attend Belmont University. During her senior year she signed her first publishing deal. In 2002 she celebrated her first #1 hit – “Blessed” by Martina McBride. In 2005 Hillary scored Carrie Underwood’s first single from her first album – “Jesus Take The Wheel,” a multi-genre hit that earned the 2006 Grammy for Best Country Song, as well as the 2006 ASCAP Country Song of the Year, the 2006 NSAI Song of the Year and the 2005 ACM Single of the Year. Underwood has recorded nearly 40 of Hillary’s songs, including “So Small” and “Wasted.” Other chart-toppers from Hillary’s pen are “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum, “A Little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans, “Shotgun Rider” by Tim McGraw, “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town (which earned the 2015 Grammy for Best Country Song, the 2015 CMA Song and Single of the Year, the 2015 NSAI Song of the Year) and “Blue Ain’t Your Color” by Keith Urban (the 2017 CMA Single of the Year, the 2017 NSAI Song of the Year). Additionally, “I’ll Never Love Again” by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper (from the film A Star Is Born) earned the 2019 Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Hillary was named ACM Songwriter of the Year in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
FRANK J. MYERS
Frank J. Myers grew up in Dayton, Ohio. His father taught him to play guitar, and by age 14, Frank had formed a band with his brother. In 1981, Frank moved to Nashville, where he was hired by Eddy Raven as a guitar player – later becoming Raven’s band leader and road manager. During that time, Frank co-wrote 10 Top 10 singles for Raven, including “Bayou Boys,” “I Got Mexico” and “Sometimes A Lady.” In 1982, Frank’s “You And I” became a hit for Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle. Other hits from Frank’s catalog include “My Front Porch Looking In” by Lonestar, “Come In Out Of The Pain” by Doug Stone and “Once Upon A Lifetime” by Alabama. The John Michael Montgomery version of “I Swear” earned a slew of awards — 1994 Grammy for Best Country Song, 1994 ACM Song and Single of the Year, 1994 CMA Single of the Year, 1994 NSAI Song of the Year, 1995 ASCAP Country Song of the Year — with the All 4 One version topping the Pop chart for 11 consecutive weeks. “I’m Already There” by Lonestar was the 2002 ASCAP Country Song of the Year and the 2002 BMI Country Song of the Year. “Tomorrow” by Chris Young was the 2011 SESAC Country Song of the Year.
Raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Texas native Gary Nicholson got a guitar at age 10. He wrote songs and played in Rock bands throughout his teens before moving with his college band to Los Angeles. Following a stint on an MCA Records imprint, Gary returned to Texas in 1973. A song he sent to Nashville made it onto the 1980 soundtrack of Urban Cowboy 2, thanks to good friend/producer Jim Ed Norman. With that success, Gary moved to Music City, where he worked as a guitar player and a songwriter for Norman’s publishing company. In 1983 “Your Love Shines Through” by Gilley gave Gary his first Top 5 song and paved the way for future successes such as “That’s The Thing About Love” by Don Williams, “The Power Of Love” by Charley Pride, “Working Without A Net” by Waylon Jennings, “Brilliant Conversationalist” by T. Graham Brown, “One More Last Chance” by Vince Gill, “Live Laugh Love” by Clay Walker, “She Couldn’t Change Me” by Montgomery-Gentry and “Squeeze Me In” by Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood. Gary’s song “Fallin’ and Flyin’” was performed by Jeff Bridges & Colin Farrell in the 2009 film Crazy Heart. Gary has 600 recorded songs spanning multiple genres. In 2011 he was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Born and raised in Nashville, Randall “Ronnie” Rogers’s parents were active in Gospel music and passed their talents on to their son. After military service in Vietnam, Ronnie began to pursue a career in music. Following a single as an artist on Rice Records in 1972, he began to find success as a songwriter with cuts by Johnny Russell, Dave Dudley and Loretta Lynn. In 1977, Ronnie scored his first Top 10 with “It’s A Cowboy Lovin’ Night” by Tanya Tucker. In 1983, he had the hit singles “My First Taste Of Texas” by Ed Bruce and “Dixieland Delight” by Alabama, which began a long and successful partnership with the band. To date, Ronnie has had more than 40 cuts by Alabama, including “Jukebox In My Mind,” “Pass It On Down,” “Take A Little Trip” and “Give Me One More Shot.” Ronnie is also the co-writer of the Mark Chesnutt singles “Blame It On Texas” and “Goin’ Through The Big D,” as well as “Only In America” by Brooks & Dunn. Ronnie’s songs have been recorded by artists such as Toby Keith, George Strait, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan, Lee Ann Womack, Ray Charles, Old Crow Medicine Show and Levon Helm.
Connecticut-born, Nashville-raised Tia Sillers became hooked on songwriting in high school. Her first hit was “Lipstick Promises” by college co-writer George Ducas in 1995 — the same year that Kenny Wayne Shepherd made “Deja Voodoo” a Top 10 Rock hit. Three years later Shepherd’s #1 Rock hit “Blue On Black” earned the 1998 Billboard Music Award for Rock Track of the Year. (The song was re-recorded in 2019 by Five Finger Death Punch with Shepherd, Brantley Gilbert & Brian May.) In 2008 “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack became a chart-topping multi-genre smash that earned the 2000 Grammy for Best Country Song, as well as the 2000 ACM Song and Single of the Year, the 2000 CMA Song and Single of the Year, the 2001 ASCAP Country Song of the Year, the 2001 BMI Country Song of the Year and the 2000-2001 NSAI Song of the Year. “Jonah, Job And Moses” by The Oak Ridge Boys was named the 2007 GMA Dove Country Song of the Year. “Dance With Me” by Johnny Reid was the 2010 Canadian CMA Song of the Year. Other songs from Tia’s catalog include “There’s Your Trouble” by the Dixie Chicks, “That’d Be Alright” by Alan Jackson, “A Joyful Noise” by Jo Dee Messina and “Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love” by Trisha Yearwood.
Born in Chicago and raised in Michigan, Tommy Sims grew up on Gospel music and Soul music. When he and some friends began performing after college, they eventually landed in Nashville, where he became the bassist for Christian Rock band White Heart from 1987 to 1989. In 1994, Tommy scored his first #1 songs as a songwriter with Amy Grant – “Children Of The World” and “Helping Hand.” In 1995 his “R.I.O.T. (Righteous Invasion Of Truth)” by Carman was named the 1996 GMA Dove Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year. The following year one of his songs was featured in the film Phenomenon. The song was the multi-chart-topping hit “Change The World” by Eric Clapton, which earned the 1997 Grammy for Best Song and for Record of the Year. Tommy’s songwriting catalog also includes the Country hits “Love Is The Right Place” by Bryan White and “A Promise I Make” by Dakota Moon, the AC hits “Lost In You” by Garth Brooks (as Chris Gaines) and “I Can’t Help You Now” by Bonnie Raitt, and the Gospel hits “Anybody Wanna Pray” by CeCe Winans w/ GRITS (the 2002 GMA Dove Contemporary Gospel Song of the Year) and “Just Wanna Say” by Israel Houghton (the 2010 GMA Dove Urban Song of the Year).
Category 2 – CONTEMPORARY SONGWRITER/ARTISTS
Kirk Franklin was born in Fort Worth, TX. His work with the Dallas-Fort Worth Mass Choir at age 19 ultimately led to a record deal. In 1993, Kirk Franklin & The Family released their debut album, which sold more than a million units and remained #1 on the Gospel album charts for 42 weeks. The album’s breakout single – “Why We Sing” – was named the 1994 GMA Dove Traditional Gospel Song of the Year. From there, “Stomp” by Kirk Franklin w/ God’s Property & Salt was a #1 R&B hit that was named the 1998 GMA Dove Urban Song of the Year and became the first Gospel song played in heavy rotation on MTV. “Revolution” by Kirk Franklin w/ Rodney Jerkins was the 1999 GMA Dove Urban Song of the Year. As a solo artist, Kirk’s #1 Gospel/#5 R&B “Looking For You” was the 2006 GMA Dove Urban Song of the Year and earned the 2007 Grammy for Best Gospel Song. “Help Me Believe” earned the 2009 Grammy for Best Gospel Song. “Hello Fear” earned the 2012 Grammy for Best Gospel Song. His #1 Gospel/#12 R&B “I Smile” was the 2012 BMI Christian Song of the Year and the 2012 GMA Dove Contemporary Gospel Song of the Year. “Wanna Be Happy?” earned the 2016 Grammy for Best Gospel Song. “Love Theory” was the 2019 GMA Dove Contemporary Gospel Song of the Year and earned the 2020 Grammy for Best Gospel Song. “Never Alone,” his #1 Gospel collaboration with Tori Kelly, earned the 2019 Grammy for Best Gospel Song. Kirk was the 2003 BMI Christian Songwriter of the Year.
Brad Paisley was born and raised in Glen Dale, West Virginia. He received his first guitar from his grandfather, who taught him to play at eight years old. At age 13, Brad wrote his first song, which he performed publicly and which eventually led him to an eight-year stint performing on Wheeling’s Jamboree USA. After high-school graduation and two years at West Liberty State College, Brad was awarded a fully paid ASCAP scholarship to Belmont University in Nashville where he majored in music business. A week after graduating from Belmont, Brad signed as a writer with EMI Music Publishing. Following cuts by David Kersh, David Ball and Tracy Byrd, Brad signed with Arista Nashville and soon began to record his own songs. As an artist, he has placed 33 self-penned Top 20 songs on the Billboard charts, including 15 #1s and 14 more in the Top 10. Among those compositions are “He Didn’t Have To Be,” “Alcohol,” “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song),” “Celebrity,” “Ticks,” “Letter To Me,” “Then,” “This Is Country Music,” “Water,” and his duet with Carrie Underwood “Remind Me.” A member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001, Brad was ASCAP’s 2004 Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year. He was NSAI’s Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 2002 and 2005.
Born in Plant City, FL, Pam Tillis grew up in Nashville thanks to having Country music star Mel Tillis for a father. At age eight, she sang with him on the Grand Ole Opry and began taking piano lessons. By age 12, she was playing guitar. Recovering from a near-fatal car accident at 16, she enrolled briefly at the University of Tennessee before dropping out in 1976 to move to San Francisco, where she sang in a Jazz and Rock band. Returning to Nashville a few years later, Pam recorded a largely co-written 1983 Pop album for Warner Bros. In 1989 Pam enjoyed her first Top 40 single as a writer with “When Love Comes Around The Bend” by Juice Newton. The following year Highway 101 reached the Top 15 with Pam’s “Someone Else’s Trouble Now.” In the early 1990s Pam was one of the first five acts signed to Arista Nashville. Her self-penned hits as an Arista artist were “One Of Those Things,” “Put Yourself In My Place,” “Blue Rose Is,” “Cleopatra, Queen Of Denial,” “Spilled Perfume,” “It’s Lonely Out There” and the chart-topping “Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life).” In 2000, Pam was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. In 2012 she enjoyed the IBMA-nominated Bluegrass hit “Somewhere South Of Crazy” by Dale Ann Bradley.
Shania Twain was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. During high school, she began writing songs and fronting a local cover band. After graduation, she toured Ontario with another band before returning home in 1987 to care for her younger siblings after their parents died in a car accident. She continued to perform and five years later was signed to Mercury Nashville. Since the release of her debut album 1993, Shania has placed 22 self-penned Top 20 songs on the Billboard charts, including 7 #1s and 8 more in the Top 10. Among those compositions are “You’re Still The One” (1998 Grammy for Best Country Song / 1999 BMI Country Song of the Year), “Come On Over” (1999 Grammy for Best Country Song) and “Forever And For Always” (2004 BMI Country Song of the Year), along with “You’ve Got A Way,” “(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here!,” “Love Gets Me Every Time,” “No One Needs To Know,” “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!,” “From This Moment On” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” Shania was named NSAI’s 1998 Songwriter/Artist of the Year, as well as BMI’s 1999 Country Songwriter of the Year and 2000 Country Songwriter of the Year. She was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
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