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Phil Collins to receive Songwriters Hall of Fame's Johnny Mercer Award

Phil CollinsPhil Collins will receive the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction dinner on June 17 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York.

"Phil has churned out a massive stream of classic songs that have resonated with audiences around the globe in a career that has won him admiration beyond cultural and linguistic boundaries," said the Hall’s chairman/CEO Hal David. "In our professional community, he is among the most respected musical creators of our generation."

The Johnny Mercer Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. It is exclusively reserved for a songwriter 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. Past recipients include the Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Paul Anka, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Paul Simon, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Stephen Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.

Collins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, on the strength of such big hits as "In the Air Tonight," "Against All Odds," "Another Day In Paradise," "Sussudio" and "Two Hearts." "You'll Be In My Heart" from the movie Tarzan won a Golden Globe, Oscar and Grammy.

On March 15, Collins will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his band Genesis. He is currently working on an album of Motown cover songs.

“There are many award presentations out there now,” said Collins in an interview last week. “I don’t mean to say something that’s unkind, but only a handful are actually important to me personally as an artist/songwriter, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame is definitely one of them.”

This year’s inductees into the Songwriters Hall were announced previously. They are Leonard Cohen, Jackie DeShannon, David Foster, Johnny Mandel and Earth, Wind & Fire's Maurice White, Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Larry Dunn and Al McKay.

© Music Examiner, by Jim Bessman

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