Prolific Composer Alan Menken to Receive Prestigious Johnny Mercer Award
The Songwriters Hall of Fame announced today that Alan Menken will be the 2017 recipient of the esteemed Johnny Mercer Award at the 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 15th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The Johnny Mercer Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is exclusively reserved for a songwriter or songwriting team 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. Alan Menken was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008.
In making the announcement, SHOF President and CEO, Linda Moran, said, "We at the Songwriters Hall of Fame are so proud that our 2017 Johnny Mercer Award recognizes the exceptional talent of Alan Menken. With a Tony Award, eleven Grammys and eight Academy Awards already to Alan's credit, the Johnny Mercer Award is a fitting acknowledgement from the Songwriters Hall of Fame."
"Alan Menken is a prolific composer whose music has conquered both Hollywood and Broadway. His success in scoring animated musicals like Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, filling them with unforgettable songs and then adapting them for the Broadway stage has delighted countless children and adults. Since Alan's big break-through when he teamed up with the late Howard Ashman, he has continued to create enduring melodies for lyrics by iconic lyricists such as Sir Tim Rice, Stephen Schwartz, David Zippel and Lynn Ahrens," said SHOF co-chairs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff.
Alan Menken's music and lyrics have become an integral part of the fabric of our lives since his first works were produced nearly 40 years ago. His stage musicals include Beauty and The Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies, Sister Act, A Bronx Tale, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Atina: Evil Queen of the Galaxy, Real Life Funnies, Kicks, The Dream on Royal Street, A Christmas Carol, Weird Romance, King David and Leap of Faith. Song and score credits for film musicals include The Little Mermaid, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Animated), Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Enchanted, Tangled, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, The Shaggy Dog, Home on the Range, Mirror Mirror and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Live Action).
Individual songs for film include Rocky V - "The Measure of a Man", Home Alone 2: Lost in New York - "My Christmas Tree," Life With Mikey - "Cold Enough to Snow," Noel - "Winter Light," Captain America: First Avenger - "Star Spangled Man" and Sausage Party - "The Great Beyond." Television credits include writing songs for Sesame Street, the ABC mini-series Lincoln, a musical episode of The Neighbors, the ABC series GALAVANT and the Disney Channel's Tangled (animated). His chart topping songs have included "Beauty and the Beast," "A Whole New World," "Colors of the Wind" and "Go the Distance."
Winner of the 2012 Tony and Drama Desk awards for his score for Newsies, he has won more Academy Awards than any other living individual, including eight Oscars® with 4 for Best Score and 4 for Best Song; 11 Grammy® Awards (including Song of the Year for "A Whole New World"); 7 Golden Globes; London's Evening Standard Award; the Olivier Award; the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award.
Other notable achievements include induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Billboard's number one single ("A Whole New World") and number one album (Pocahontas). In 2001 he received the distinction of being named a Disney Legend, and was awarded two doctorates in Fine Arts from New York University and the North Carolina School of the Arts. In 2010 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Recent live concert appearances include the Hollywood Bowl, Segerstrom Center and the Royal Albert Hall.
Past Johnny Mercer Award recipients have included songwriting giants: Lionel Richie, Van Morrison, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Phil Collins, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Paul Anka, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Paul Simon, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Stephen Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.
2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees include musical titans Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm & James Pankow p/k/a "Chicago," Max Martin, and Shawn "Jay Z" Carter. Caroline Bienstock will receive the Abe Oleman Publishing Award, Pitbull will be the first-ever recipient of the Global Ambassador Award. Ed Sheeran will be honored with the Hal David Starlight Award.
Ticket Information: Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame event begin at $1,250 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, 914-579-1000. Net proceeds from the event will go toward the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs. Songwriters Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 organization. The non-deductible portion of each ticket is $170. Contributions, for which no goods or services are received in exchange, are fully tax-deductible as provided by law.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos