Rhett Akins, Brad Paisley, Shania Twain Among 2021 Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Nominees

Music Row
By Lydia Farthing
June 14, 2021

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (NaSHOF) has announced the 12 nominees for the class of 2021. Eight of these nominees are for the Songwriters category, while the remaining four are for the Songwriter/Artist category.

Nominees in the Songwriters category are Rhett Akins, Buddy Cannon, Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Mary Ann Kennedy, David Malloy, Frank J. Myers, and Tia Sillers. Nominees in the Songwriter/Artists category are Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Shania Twain, and Phil Vassar.

All nominees experienced their first Top 20 song at least 20 years ago. Two songwriters and one songwriter/artist will be elected in these categories by their professional songwriter peers and members of the Hall of Fame. In addition, two more will be named to the Class of 2021. A separate body of veteran voters will elect a veteran songwriter and a veteran songwriter/artist, both of whom experienced their first Top 20 song at least 30 years ago. As part of that process, nominees in those categories are not announced.

The new group will be among those honored at the “50/51” Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Monday, November 1, 2021, at the Music City Center alongside the organization’s previously named Class of 2020: Steve Earle, Bobbie Gentry, Kent Blazy, Brett James and Spooner Oldham.

“We were forced to postpone our 50th Anniversary celebration last year, so this will be our ‘50/51’ party—celebrating two years and two classes in a special double-sized event,” says NaSHOF Executive Director Mark Ford. “We congratulate all of this year’s nominees and look forward to next month, when we will announce those who will be inducted as members of the Class of 2021.”



Shania Twain was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. When she was two, she moved with her family to Timmins, Ontario. During high school, she began writing songs and fronting a local cover band. After graduation, she toured Ontario with another band before returning home in 1987 to care for her younger siblings after their parents died in a car accident. A few years later she was signed to Mercury Nashville. Since the release of her debut album in 1993, Twain has placed 22 self-penned Top 20 songs on the Billboard charts, including 7 No. 1 songs and 8 more in the Top 10. Among those compositions are “You’re Still The One” (1998 Grammy for Best Country Song and 1999 BMI Country Song of the Year), “Come On Over” (1999 Grammy for Best Country Song) and “Forever And For Always” (2004 BMI Country Song of the Year), along with “You’ve Got A Way,” “(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here!,” “Love Gets Me Every Time,” “No One Needs To Know,” “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!,” “From This Moment On” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” Twain was named NSAI’s 1998 Songwriter/Artist of the Year, as well as BMI’s 1999 Country Songwriter of the Year and 2000 Country Songwriter of the Year. She was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2011.