Sade Adu of Sade and Teddy Riley are among the 2023 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees. In its 52nd year, the star-studded ceremony will be held June 15 at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
“As always, I am so grateful to the most high. I didn’t know how big this is, until I woke up this morning to so many congrats. I wanna thank you all for your contribution and support to my career,” Riley shared in an Instagram caption.
“This wouldn’t be what it is without you all!! Most of all, I want to thank my mother for my existence, and always supporting through my trials and tribulations! I love you all & thank you for another celebratory moment!!!”
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“The music industry does not exist without songwriters delivering great songs first. Without them there is no recorded music, no concert business, no merch . . . nothing, it all starts with the song and the songwriter,” said Nile Rodgers, the Songwriters Hall of Fame chairman.
“We are therefore very proud that we are continually recognizing some of the culturally most important songwriters of all time and that the 2023 slate represents not just iconic songs but also diversity and unity across genres, ethnicity and gender, songwriters who have enriched our lives and, in their time, literally transformed music and the lives of billions of listeners all over the world.”
Riley is one of the most iconic figures in Black music; his work as a songwriter and producer in the mid-1980s helped establish new jack swing, a sub-genre of R&B that merged R&B and hip-hop.
Artists such as Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown, and Al B. Sure! benefited from Riley’s innovative sound, producing countless hits such as “Make It Last Forever” and “My Prerogative.”
Riley also performed these creative functions for Guy, a group he founded, and had great success with their self-titled album and its follow-up, The Future.
More writing and co-writing followed, most notably his extensive work on Michael Jackson’s 1991 album Dangerous (8x multi-platinum), which included the major single “Remember the Time.”
He’d continue a fruitful working relationship with Jackson, contributing his songwriting and production talents to his final album, 2001’s Invincible.
Excluding his alliance as a founding member of Blackstreet, Riley furthered his resume with artists such as Lady Gaga, *NSYNC, Mary J. Blige, Joe, SWV, Robin Thicke, H-Five, Sisqó and many more.
Adu gained significant attention in the 1980s as the frontwoman of R&B band Sade. Co-writing alongside Stuart Matthewman (also a member of Sade), Adu made her debut with Diamond Life (4x multi-platinum) in 1984.
Its biggest single, “Smooth Operator,” peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
At the 28th Grammys Awards in 1986, Sade won Best New Artist. Shortly thereafter, she achieved another top-five Hot 100 single with “The Sweetest Taboo,” lifted from the band’s second album Promise.
Adu picked up her first (and only) No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (formerly Hot Black Singles chart) with “Paradise.” The hit, lifted from the band’s third album Stronger Than Pride, had its songs co-written by Adu.
Sade continued to win accolades and issue albums intermediary, such as Lovers Rock, which won Best Pop Vocal Album, and Solider of Love, their last album released in 2010.
Additional 2023 SHOF recipients include Snoop Dogg, Glen Ballard, Gloria Estefan, Jeff Lynne and Liz Rose. According to SHOF, additional special award honorees will be announced soon.