Songwriters Hall of Fame: Steven Tyler, Elton John, Lou Gramm Among the Honorees at Star-Studded Induction

There were a whole lot of tributes goin' on as music's most venerated musicians celebrated the songwriters who helped make their careers

By Josh Grossberg Jun 14, 2013 1:18 PMTags
Steven Tyler, Joe PerryLarry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame

It's a sweet emotion indeed for Aeromsith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

The Toxic Twins were among a host of musicians including Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm, Holly Knight, DJ Souther, and Tony Hatch that were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame Thursday night in New York.

The 44th ceremony kicked off with Sting performing a rousing rendition of Elton John's hit "Saturday's All Right for Fightin'," in honor of the Rocket Man, who, along with his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, received the Johnny Mercer Award. (John had been inducted into the Hall in 1992.)

Billy Joel paid tribute to Gramm and fellow Foreigner member Mick Jones by leading a sing-along to the veteran rock band's hits "Juke Box Hero" and "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Nickelback offered up a thrilling version of Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion " before Tyler and Perry took the stage to croon their classic, "Walk This Way."

Patty Smyth feted her longtime collaborator Knight—best known for writing gems for Pat Benatar and Tina Turner—with a take on "The Warrior" before the latter got on the piano for Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield."

Meanwhile, Petula Clark performed "Downtown" in honor of Hatch, the English composer who wrote many of her hits in the '60s including "Valentino" and "My Love."

The evening's other stars included American Idol's Jordin Sparks, Wiz Khalifa, Alison Krauss, Rob Thomas and Smokey Robinson, who introduced legendary Motown founder Berry Gordon, the recipient of the night's Pioneer Award. Benny Blanco took home the Hal David Starlight Award for his work with such artists as Katy Perry and Britney Spears.

Former president Bill Clinton also sent a videotaped message hailing Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," which earned the Towering Song Award.