NEW YORK (AP) — Marvin Gaye was remembered with touching words from his wife, James Corden told hilariously inappropriate jokes before introducing Nick Jonas, and Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight spoke highly of his brother and “Wild Thing” songwriter Chip Taylor at the 2016 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards dinner.
Gaye and Taylor — along with Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and Chic (Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards) — were inducted into the Songwriters Hall in New York City on Thursday night. Jonas, record executive Seymour Stein and Lionel Richie — already in the Songwriters Hall — earned special honors.
The New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square was full of classic and contemporary songwriters. The night included live performances by Jennifer Hudson, the B-52’s, Marcus Mumford, Sister Sledge, Rachel Platten and Jussie Smollett of the hit Fox series, “Empire.”
Here are some of the night’s highlights.
CORDEN HAS NO CHILL
“Pleasure to be here at the Songwriters Hall of Fame. It’s like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for people that didn’t get laid,” Corden said onstage as some members of the audience laughed. “Nothing says ‘true accolade’ like a Thursday night at a Marriott.”
The host of “The Late Late Show” also threw jabs at the set design, Nick Jonas and the B-52’s, who performed in honor of Seymour Stein, who signed the group as well as The Ramones, Madonna and other top acts.
But Corden didn’t just joke around.
“Nick Jonas is one of the nicest, most talented men I’ve ever met,” he said.
GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN
Marvin Gaye and Bernard Edwards’ induction into the Songwriters Hall marks the second year the organization has allowed acts to be inducted posthumously.
Gaye’s widow, Jan Gaye, said she remembered her husband taking songwriting seriously — at times so seriously he was “irritating.”
“I was able to watch him write his songs, and everyone can’t say that. There are a few people in the room that can, but to watch him create and to watch his process was something truly unique, sometimes irritating, honestly,” she said to laughs.
Jussie Smollett earned rousing applause after his performance of Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”
Jon Voight told stories about his younger brother’s interest in songwriting and how Chip Taylor wrote strong lyrics as a teenager. Voight recited lyrics such as, “Faded blue, that’s the kind of feeling honey I got from you.”
“This is coming from a 12-year-old boy. I said, ‘What happened to him?'” Voight said to laughs. “My father had a different response. He clapped his hands together and he said, ‘Boys, this is a gold mine.'”
Taylor’s writing credits include the popular songs “Angel of the Morning” and “Wild Thing,” which the songwriter performed live with his three granddaughters.
The family performances didn’t stop there: Sister Sledge closed the three-hour event with a performance of “We Are Family” alongside Rodgers, who also performed “Le Freak.”
BEST QUOTES OF THE NIGHT
Elvis Costello: “I am probably the least commercially successful songwriter to be inducted.”
Tom Petty: “I’m sort of the rock ‘n’ roll white trash section of this show.”
Lionel Richie: “This is the best night of my entire career as a songwriter.”
This story has been corrected to show the first name of Marvin Gaye’s widow is Jan, not Jane.