The 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame class will include John Mellencamp, Alan Jackson,
Kool & the Gang and Jermaine Dupri, who will become the second hip-hop act inducted into the prestigious organization.
The Songwriters Hall told The Associated Press on Tuesday (Feb. 6) that Allee Willis,
who co-wrote the Broadway musical The Color Purple and “I’ll Be There for You” — the theme song
from the hit TV series Friends — will also be inducted at its June 14 ceremony alongside country
singer-songwriter Bill Anderson and Emmy- and Grammy-nominated songwriter Steve Dorff.
Dupri’s induction comes a year after Jay-Z became the first rapper to make it into the Hall.
Dupri has co-written No. 1 hits like Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” and “Always Be My Baby,”
Usher’s “Burn” and Monica’s “The First Night.” He has released his own hip-hop albums and became
a popular songwriter and producer in Atlanta when he launched the record label So So Def, building
careers for Jagged Edge, Kriss Kross, Bow Wow, Xscape and more.