Toby Keith and Amy Grant are among the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees for the class of 2021, along with Rhett Akins, Buddy Cannon and John Scott Sherrill. The five new members will join a prestigious list of 213 songwriters, when they are inducted in a special ceremony on Monday, November 1.
“Today is one of my favorite days of the year, as we begin our journey to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala in November with the announcement of our upcoming class,” says Sarah Cates, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. “Nashville has always been the home of legendary songs written by the world’s finest songwriters – and this class is no exception. It’s our great honor today to welcome our class of 2021: Rhett Akins and Buddy Cannon in the songwriter category; John Scott Sherrill in the veteran songwriter category; Toby Keith as our songwriter/artist and Amy Grant as our veteran songwriter/artist.”
Keith has written many of his biggest hits, including “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “American Soldier,” “As Good As I Once Was,” and “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” among others.
Grant also wrote several of her own hits, including “Baby, Baby,” “Lead Me On,” “Every Heartbea”t and more.
“It’s a gift, first and foremost, to the writer,” Grant told The Tennessean, speaking of her ability to write songs. “To have part of your job be to sit and visit with somebody until somebody says something that’s worth remembering…I can’t say enough for the beautiful connectivity that songwriting provides the people doing it.”
Akins has written songs both for himself and others, including Brooks & Dunn’s “Put a Girl in It,” Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” and “Boys ‘Round Here,” Jason Aldean’s “Tonight Looks Good on You,” Jon Pardi’s “Dirt on My Boots” and more.
Buddy Cannon had written for and produced several albums by both Willie Nelson and Kenny Chesney. He also wrote George Strait’s hit single, “Give It Away,” which won a CMA Award for Song of the Year.
Sherill has penned some of country music’s biggest songs, including Reba McEntire’s “We’re So Good Together,” Brooks & Dunn’s “How Long Gone,” “The Church on Cumberland Road” by Shenandoah and “Because You Love Me” by Jo Dee Messina, among others.
In addition to the latest class of inductees, all five members of the 2020 class, including Steve Earle, Bobbie Gentry, Kent Blazy, Brett James and Spooner Oldham.