Songwriters Hall Of Fame Induction; the National Academy of Popular Music honored
Patti LaBelle, Little Richard, Phil Collins, Tony Bennett,
Queen, Clive Davis and Van Morrison, for contributions to songwriting.
Tony Bennett got the first Towering Performance Award for the crooner's classic performance of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Bennett credited the song's enduring popularity to a positive vibe. "I think it's the one line in the song, it's an optimistic line: 'When I come home to you,'" Bennett said before the awards ceremony, singing the line. "I think that one line pertains to everybody."
4 acts were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame:
Rock 'n' roll pioneer Little Richard, who didn't attend;
the rock group Queen;
and Morrison, who sang his hit "Crazy Love" with his idol, Ray Charles.
Queen was inducted by country star Wynonna Judd, who performed with the band. "I can't wait to go back to Nashville and say that I was in a rock band for five minutes," Judd joked. "I've got the hair." Queen has already been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Guitarist Brian May said the latest honor "makes you feel like you're being taken seriously as an artist rather than just performing." May acknowledged the glam-rock group's flamboyant antics sometimes overshadowed its musical contribution. "I do think that maybe now people are looking at more depth to what we did," he said. "Yes, we were pretty flashy and we were pretty loud and at moments we seemed very outrageous, but there was a lot of honest craftsmanship that went on behind that." May added that Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS, would have been touched by the honor. Music mogul Davis received the Hitmaker award. Davis, who launched the careers of Alicia Keys and Whitney Houston, and created hits for dozens of others, called the honor very touching. Bravo Network is scheduled to air the ceremony on July 9. 2003 The Associated Press