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Doug Morris to receive SongHall's Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award

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Doug Morris will receive the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award at the 45th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for June 12 at New York’s Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The influential music industry executive is the CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, having previously served as worldwide chairman/CEO of Universal Music Group. The industry veteran has also held the post of co-chairman/co-CEO of the Atlantic Recording Group, and is the founder and former chairman of VEVO, as well as the co-producer and lead financier of Broadway musical Motown: The Musical.

But Morris started out in music as a songwriter. His credits include the Chiffons' 1966 hit "Sweet Talkin' Guy," and he produced hits including Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys Room."

"Doug Morris is a monolithic figure with the totality of his involvement in so many significant careers," said SHOF chairman Jimmy Webb in announcing Morris’s award this morning. "He is both a creative and marketing genius and is emblematic of a new kind of super-executive in our business. His own success as a songwriter set the stage for a career as a hitmaker; he knows what a good song sounds like."

The Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award is named after one of the SHOF's founders. It goes to an artist or "star maker" in the music industry who has been responsible for a substantial number of hit songs for an extended period, and most importantly, recognizes the genuine significance of the song and songwriter. Previous Hitmaker Award honorees have included Clive Davis, Phil Ramone, Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan and Sir Tom Jones.

This year’s SHOF inductees are Ray Davies, Donovan, Graham Gouldman, Mark James and Jim Weatherly.

In addition, the legendary songwriting team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, a.k.a. Gamble and Huff, will receive the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s (SHOF) prestigious Johnny Mercer Award.

The SHOF is dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of composers and lyricists who create popular music around the world. Besides celebrating songwriters, it educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships.

[The Examiner contributes to the SHOF newsletter.]

Subscribe to my examiner.com pages and follow me on Twitter @JimBessman!

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