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Music Industry Moves: ‘Evita,’ ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Co-writer Tim Rice to Receive Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Johnny Mercer Award

Tim Rice will be the 2023 recipient of the esteemed Johnny Mercer Award at the 52nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 15, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

The Johnny Mercer Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame and is reserved for a songwriter or songwriting team who has already been inducted in a prior year and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer. Tim Rice was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.

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SHOF Chairman Nile Rodgers said, “Tim Rice is an artisan. He has crafted some of the greatest lyrics and stories in musical history with “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and his incredible work with Andrew Lloyd Webber being amongst my favorites. In the ’70s, we used to say, ‘What’s The Buzz’ because of him. More than 50 years later, the buzz is still Tim Rice!”

Tim Rice said, “I am truly honored to be chosen to receive the Johnny Mercer Award. My induction into the SHOF was itself a highlight of my writing career and I never expected to receive any further recognition from the most distinguished gathering of songwriters in the world. So, I am bowled over (a cricketing metaphor) with gratitude. I have attended quite a few SHOF events in the past twenty-five years and they have always been among the most enjoyable of entertainment world extravaganzas – unpretentious, unpredictable, and spectacular. So, June 15, 2023, is a golden booking in my electronic diary.”

A member of the exclusive group of 18 entertainers who have achieved EGOT status, Tim Rice has won an Emmy Award, five Grammy Awards, three Tony Awards, and three Academy Awards throughout his career. He has collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on “The Likes Of Us,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Evita.” He has also worked Elton John (“The Lion King,” “Aida”), Alan Menken (“Aladdin,” “King David,” “Beauty and the Beast”), Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (“Chess”), and Stuart Brayson (“From Here to Eternity”). He has also written with Freddie Mercury, Burt Bacharach, and Rick Wakeman, among others.

Inductees at this year’s event include Sade, Glen Ballard, Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan, Jeff Lynne, Teddy Riley and Liz Rose.

+ Amazon Music and Berlin-based AI sound wellness app Endel will produce a sleep playlist, making Endel the first generative AI company to collaborate with the service on a playlist. Drawing on extensive research into the neuroscience of sleep, the playlist lasts roughly 8 hours or until the listener awakens, and is available on Amazon Music.

The sleep playlist created with Amazon Music, titled “Sleep Science,” opens with an Amazon Original track featuring electronic duo Kx5 (Kaskade and deadmau5). The source material, including synths and chill vocals, was processed by Endel Pacific to create a high-quality, relaxing soundscape activating the parasympathetic nervous system and getting the listener ready for sleep. Endel Pacific is Endel’s patented AI-engine, which creates scientifically backed sleep tracks that follow natural sleep phases, first preparing the brain for sleep, then aiding as the listener falls and stays asleep. All while providing quality sound pleasurable to listeners and backed by scientific research into sleep, circadian rhythms, and psychoacoustics.

“At Endel, we’ve been invested in the neuroscience of functional sound since day one,” says Oleg Stavitsky, co-founder and CEO of Endel. “To successfully deliver functional music, neuroscience has to guide AI technology. The human mind must be at the forefront of this experience.”

“We’re excited to work with Endel to provide an optimal experience for Amazon Music listeners looking to wind down and settle into sleep,” said Stephen Brower, global co-lead of artist relations for Amazon Music. “We look forward to our customers discovering their science backed approach as well as their curatorial instincts for unique artist collaborations, including Kx5’s new Amazon Original release.”