Chita Rivera Performs at 2014 Songwriters Hall Of Fame Gala
Last night, the legendary CHITA RIVERA wowed the packed Marriot Marquis ballroom for the 45th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Gala. She was greeted with cheers and a standing ovation as she sang a medley from WEST SIDE STORY, which included "A Boy Like That" and the show-stopping "America", in a program designed to mix past and future sounds.
"I was honored to be a part of this amazing evening last night," Ms Rivera said. "What a thrill to hear all these celebrated songwriters perform their own songs. I had a ball!"
Inductees at this year's event included '60s psychedelic folk guru Donovan; Kinks co-founder Ray Davies (absent because of his sister's death); 10cc founder Graham Gouldman; Mark James, who wrote five late-period hits for Elvis, including Suspicious Minds and Moody Blue; and Jim Weatherly, best-known for delivering iconic tunes for Gladys Knight, including Midnight Train to Georgia. The prestigious Johnny Mercer Award was presented to Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Doug Morris was honored with the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award and Dan Reynolds (of Imagine Dragons) received the Hal David Starlight Award. Del Bryant was presented with the Visionary Leadership Award. The 2014 Towering Song Award was presented to "Over the Rainbow," written by Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees Harold Arlen & E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, and published by EMI Feist Catalog, Inc.
The star-studded audience included Aloe Blacc, Jon Bon Jovi, Cam, Rosanne Cash, Chubby Checker, Jackie Evancho, Candice Glover, Martina McBride, Miguel, A Great Big World - all of whom also performed.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. Out of the tens of thousands of songwriters of our era, there are approximately 400 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The list includes Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland, Smokey Robinson, Albert Hammond, Desmond Child, Paul Williams, Hal David & Burt Bacharach, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes & David Porter, Richard & Robert Sherman, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora, Sir Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Don Schlitz, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren, Paul Anka, Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry and Leonard Cohen among many others.