Music News: Jay Z becomes first rapper in Songwriters Hall of Fame


Jay Z at a pre-Grammys brunch, February 2017.
Jay Z at a pre-Grammys brunch, February 2017. (Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

Thursday night's induction ceremony officially made Jay Z the first rapper to enter the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His streaming service Tidal collected tributes from artists including Quincy Jones, Bono, André 3000, Chance the Rapper, Chuck D, Timbaland, and Jon Bon Jovi, who commented in all-caps: "JAY Z IS BEING INDUCTED INTO THE SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME? WHAT TOOK SO F---ING LONG?" (Rolling Stone)

In a video played at the ceremony, even former president Barack Obama honored Jay Z. "I like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other. Nobody who met us when we were younger men would have expected us to be where we are today," said Obama. "We both have wives who are significantly more popular than we are... Like all of you, I am a fan, and I've been listening to Jay since I was a young and hungry state senator. I'm proud to help present this award to a true American original." (Pitchfork)

Also inducted Thursday night: co-architects of the Minneapolis Sound, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Yoko Ono gets cowriting credit on "Imagine"

Forty-six years after John Lennon’s seminal "Imagine" was released, his widow Yoko Ono is being given cowriting credit for the song. The announcement was made at a music-publishing industry event in New York on Wednesday. Ono was on hand for the event, at which attendees were shown video of a 1980 interview in which Lennon said that Ono should be credited as a cowriter. In the interview, Lennon said the song "should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song, because a lot of it, the lyric and the concept, came from Yoko."

The announcement, by David Israelite, the chief executive of the National Music Publishers Association, came as a surprise to Ono, said her son Sean Ono Lennon. Technically, Israelite admitted, the added credit is in process and has yet to be officially confirmed. (New York Times)

David Bowie honored with three historical plaques in England

Forty-seven blue historical plaques are being installed across Great Britain as part of BBC Music Day, marking significant locations in the history of British music. Three of them recognize landmarks in the career of David Bowie: one outside the Soho studios where he recorded Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust; one at a hotel in Kent where Bowie regularly played in his young days; and one in Hull, home to Bowie's iconic band the Spiders from Mars.

The Hull plaque was unveiled by drummer Mick "Woody" Woodmansey, who said, "The only downside is that Mick [Ronson] and Trevor [Bolder] couldn't be standing here with me," referring to his late bandmates. (Guardian)

What are the Smiths planning?

The Smiths are teasing some kind of release pegged to the 31st anniversary, on Friday, of their album The Queen Is Dead. Two mysterious images shared on Facebook were captioned "TQID 16.06.17." (Pitchfork)

Miley busks in disguise

The latest pro musician to busk in disguise is Miley Cyrus, who joined Jimmy Fallon for a session busking in the New York subway, singing Dolly Parton’s "Jolene." Unlike Joshua Bell and Erykah Badu, though, Cyrus was recognized pretty quickly. Recognizing that the jig was up, she busted right into "Party in the U.S.A." (Billboard)

And the Jay Z song was on...

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