Since its founding in 1970, the Songwriters Hall of Fame has honored only 31 women out of its 439 inductees. (In 2002, Simpson was inducted alongside her late husband Nick Ashford). In June 2022, this number will increase to 32 women when Mariah Carey and 13 men are inducted at the 51st annual awards gala, which has been postponed twice because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an email to Billboard, Linda Moran, president and CEO of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, said that she and her colleagues are unfamiliar with the Women Songwriters Hall of Fame and declined to comment on the organization.
While DeLoatch aims to celebrate the contributions of women songwriters whose recognition is overdue, she stresses that the event is inclusive of all women regardless of race or genre. “It is not meant just to celebrate Black women songwriters,” she explains. “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. It 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,” says DeLoatch.
The 2021 WSHOF awards show will be held June 25 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., at 4 p.m. ET. Tickets are available for purchase here.