Naomi Judd Inducted Into Women Songwriters Hall of Fame

Naomi Judd was honored as one of the first inductees into the Women Songwriters Hall of Fame this month in a ceremony held on June 25 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Judd was inducted alongside Roberta Flack, Deniece Williams, Valerie Simpson, Jeri Keever "Bunny" Hull, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Veryl Howard.

"It's always gratifying when someone acknowledges your best efforts," Judd said in a press release, via CMT.com. "I love expressing my deepest feelings as I did in writing 'Love Can Build A Bridge.' Not only was I being celebrated at this auspicious event in Washington, D.C., I was among other accomplished songwriters. It was fun to reconnect with Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson fame. We met years ago. A good time was had by all!" Judd found immense success in country music with daughter Wynonna Judd in their duo The Judds, and Naomi wrote multiple songs for the pair including their hit "Love Can Build A Bridge." The mother-daughter duo had 20 Top 10 Billboard Hot Country chart hits including 15 No. 1s and won every Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Award for which they were nominated for almost a decade.

The Women Songwriters Hall of Fame strives to commemorate and acknowledge the work of women who were sometimes overlooked by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, which has honored only 31 women out of its 439 inductees since its founding in 1970. That number will increase to 33 in June 2022 when Mariah Carey and Annie Lennox are inducted at the 51st annual awards gala, which has been postponed due to the pandemic. A press release shared that the inaugural Women Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony would pay homage to women "whose body of work represents the best of heritage and legacy of modern American music."

"We need the [Songwriters Hall of Fame] to understand that women have been left out of the conversation way too long," Janice McLean DeLoatch, executive producer and founder of the WSHOF told Billboard. "It's 2021! With people like Dionne Warwick, Deniece Williams, Roberta Flack — we all know those names! Why are they just getting their flowers?"

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DeLoatch shared that her goal is to celebrate the contributions of women songwriters whose recognition is overdue in an event that is inclusive of all women regardless of race or genre. "It is not meant just to celebrate Black women songwriters," she said. "It is to celebrate women of all nationalities, all colors, all backgrounds." The WSHOF will eventually branch out to include merit awards in different areas of the music industry and will also serve as a resource for developing new songwriters through workshops, showcases and scholarships. "This is an invitation to everyone, even the recording industry, the publishing companies, the music labels," DeLoatch said.