• The Songwriters Hall of Fama Gala was hosted
  • The legendary band R.E.M. reunited
  • It was a magical night

In an electrifying twist that could only be described as cosmic, the legendary alt-rock band R.E.M. delivered a performance that left fans and fellow artists alike in awe at the 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

The event, held at the prestigious Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, became the epicenter of musical history as it unfolded on Thursday night.

A Night of Nostalgia and New Horizons

The gala, a beacon for talent across genres, celebrated an eclectic mix of songwriting royalty, including the likes of Steely Dan and the innovative Timbaland, who dazzled with a medley of hits. But it was R.E.M., comprising Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe, who stole the show with an acoustic rendition of their iconic track "Losing My Religion."

"We are R.E.M.," declared Stipe, a statement that resonated with the gravity of their reunion. Stipe took a moment to reflect on the and's journey, emphasizing their early commitment to owning their master recordings and sharing songwriting credits equally.

The ceremony was peppered with memorable performances and tributes, from Jason Isbell's breathless cover of "It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" to the Bacon Brothers' lively rendition of "Footloose."

Nashville's Hillary Lindsey and songwriter Dean Pitchford were among the inductees, celebrated for their contributions to the fabric of American music.

Steely Dan's Donald Fagen paid homage to his late partner Walter Becker, while Phish's Trey Anastasio praised their songwriting genius. SZA, honored with the Hal David Starlight Award, shared her journey from songwriter to artist, emphasizing the value of writing in finding her identity.

The night also saw heartfelt acknowledgments from Missy Elliott to Timbaland, highlighting his revolutionary impact on music production. Timbaland, humbled by the recognition, dedicated his achievement to his family and the late Aaliyah.

Missy Elliott shouted out the late rapper Magoo for introducing her to Timbaland in an energetic introduction to her longtime writing and production partner, noting he had "a gift."

"Timbaland literally changed the cadence of the time, because he also treated hip hop records like R&B records," she said. "He would take the hooks and put a different sound." Timbaland told the audience the songwriting recognition was the best award he could get.

"I don’t really talk too much. I just talk with my music," he said, centering his speech on his collaborators and his family,

The event culminated in a tribute to Diane Warren, presented with the Johnny Mercer Award, celebrating her indelible mark on the music industry. The gala closed on a high note with a performance of Warren's "Rhythm of the Night," commemorating its 40th anniversary.

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The 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a testament to the enduring power of songwriting and its ability to bring people together.

As stars aligned for a night of celebration, the music world was reminded of the comet-like impact of artists coming together to honor their craft.