June 24, 2009

Bon Jovi and Jones lead Songwriters Hall of Fames class of 2009

Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Jones have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame following a ceremony in New York on Thursday.

The duo was feted along with rockers Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jason Mraz and Bon Jovi's bandmate and longtime collaborator Richie Sambora at the organisation's 40th annual ceremony.

Bon Jovi and Sambora marked the occasion by belting out their hit Wanted Dead or Alive after Daughtry paid tribute to the pair with a rendition of I'll Be There For You, while Crosby, Stills and Nash were introduced to the stage by James Taylor.

Matchbox Twenty star Rob Thomas - himself a past honouree - presented a tearful Mraz with the Hal David Starlight Award and jokingly berated the star, saying, "I hate you. You've ruined the curve for everybody. You're kind of young, and you're cute and you're just too talented and I think you should stop."

Thanking the audience for the accolade, a visibly moved Mraz said, "I thought that songwriting either makes you spiritual or a crazy person, and if it’s not doing either one of those things then you’re doing it wrong. I’m honoured to feel like I’m doing it right."

However, the night belonged to Welsh crooner Jones, who was presented with the prestigious Howie Richmond Hitmaker prize in recognition of his "exceptional staying power and accomplishments, along with his unique artistry" in the music industry.

Jones, who only began writing his own songs in recent years, told the crowd, "You have to have songs to get your foot in the door... You have to have great songs, and you have to be lucky to recognise them."

But his performance didn't go quite as planned - Jones, 69, had to halt his set halfway through and restart his hit song Unusual after confessing, "I started in the wrong place. I've only been singing this since 1964!"

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