Shania Twain, Toby Keith and More Vie for Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

Who will make the cut?

Written by Chris Parton
Shania Twain, Toby Keith and More Vie for Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Shania Twain attends the green carpet of the 16th Zurich Film Festival at Kino Corso on September 24, 2020 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2020 takes place from September 24 until October 3. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for ZFF)

Country stars Shania Twain, Toby Keith and more are among those hoping to enter The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame this year, representing two of 12 artists and tunesmiths nominated for inclusion. Three new Hall of Fame members will be chosen on November 1, and the competition is stiff.

Along with Twain and Keith, nominees in the Artist/Songwriter category include established hit makers Brad Paisley and Phil Vassar. Only one of those artists will make the cut, and they’ll be joined by two honorees from the Songwriter category — Rhett Akins, Buddy Cannon, Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Mary Ann Kennedy, David Malloy, Frank J. Myers and Tia Sillers.

Meanwhile, this year’s Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony will pull double duty, honoring both the Class of 2021 nominees and the Class of 2020 — which never got to celebrate their honor due to COVID-19. Those new Hall of Famers are Steve Earle, Bobbie Gentry, Kent Blazy, Brett James and Spooner Oldham.

“We were forced to postpone our 50th Anniversary celebration last year, so this will be our ‘50/51’ party—celebrating two years and two classes in a special double-sized event,” says Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Executive Director Mark Ford. “We congratulate all of this year’s nominees and look forward to next month, when we will announce those who will be inducted as members of the Class of 2021.”

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame is located inside the Music City Center and has been celebrating song creators of all stripes since 1970. Tasked with enshrining “some of the greatest writers ever to put words to music in Music City,” it has already honored legends like Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson and Loretta Lynn, as well as behind-the-scenes heroes such as Harlan Howard, Bob McDill and Jeffrey Steele.