Jay Z becomes the first rapper to be nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame

The Brooklyn rapper sits alongside the likes of Madonna and Cat Stevens on the organisation's latest list of nominees

Jay Z has become the first rapper ever to be nominated for entry to the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The prestigious organisation, whose mission is to “preserve, honor and celebrate the legacy of the great songwriters whose work has enriched the world’s culture”, will announce their new slate of accepted artists at its Annual Induction & Awards Gala on June 15, 2017 in New York City, having unveiled their list of nominees last week (October 20).

Jay Z’s presence on the list is particularly notable, given how the 46-year-old is the first rapper to be recognised in this manner by the organisation. As The Guardian reports, songwriters become eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame after having a songwriting career that spans at least 20 years: 2016 has of course marked the twentieth anniversary of Jay Z’s debut album, ‘Reasonable Doubt’.

Other nominees on the 2017 list include Madonna, Cat Stevens and George Michael. Members of the organisation can vote for the two performing songwriters and the three non-performing songwriters who they believe should be inducted into the Hall of Fame next year, with voting closing on 16 December. A total of five artists will be inducted at next year’s Awards Gala.

In other Jay Z news, the Brooklyn rapper today (October 24) finally responded to Kanye West’s public criticism of him after the latter accused Jay Z of giving a cold response to his wife Kim Kardashian’s recent robbery in Paris.

The co-founder of Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records, Karreem ‘Biggs’ Burke, told Page Six that he was surprised by West’s comments. “I was shocked to hear what Kanye said onstage. There was never anything rumbling,” he said. “When you hear these things in public, it’s a little shocking.”

Biggs added: “The last I saw [West], he spoke really highly of Jay. I’m not sure about the relationship at this point. I spoke to Jay [after Kanye’s rant] and we’re both just like, ‘We miss the old Kanye.’”