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Four hit songs from the 1980s and 1990s were inducted to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) on Nov. 1, 2023, in a celebratory show at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in downtown Toronto, as part of the Legends Series, supported by the RBC Foundation through RBC Emerging Artists.
The four honoured songs are generational, culture-defining, internationally influential hits co-written by Canadians, and recorded by Canadians:
- “Informer,” the biggest selling reggae-rap recording in the ‘90s, recorded by Snow (Darrin O’Brien), and co-written by Snow with American rapper/producer MC Shan (Shawn Moltke), Terri Moltke, and Edmond Leary;
- “Drinking in L.A.,” a global club anthem recorded by alt-rock/hip-hop/folk collective Bran Van 3000, co-written by James Di Salvio, Haig Vartzbedian and U.S.-based Duane Larson;
- “My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style,” a Canadian hip-hop trailblazer, recorded by duo Dream Warriors, and written by one of its two members, King Lou (Louie Robinson), along with Richard Rodwell; and
- “Echo Beach,” the enduring new-wave classic written by Mark Gane, co-founder of the Toronto band Martha and the Muffins.
At the show, onstage interviews with Snow; King Lou and Richard Rodwell; James DiSalvio and Haig Vartzbedian; and Mark Gane – along with new honourees Marc Jordan and John Capek, who were inducted for their entire catalogues, including co-writing Rod Stewart’s “Rhythm of My Heart” – were conducted by host Sonia Benezra, who delved into the stories behind the songs.
The evening included video tributes to the songs, including one from Rod Stewart for “Rhythm of My Heart,” and standout performances of “Drinking in L.A.” by Luna Elle and Cameron Phillip; “My Definition” by TOBi and Dream Warriors themselves; “Echo Beach” by Sam Casey; and “Informer” by Snow himself.
“The four songs that were inducted are vastly different from each other, but they all pushed the boundaries of convention, celebrated individuality, and influenced popular culture,” said Stan Meissner, CSHF Board Chairman.