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Tim Rice Is Songwriters Hall of Fame’s 2023 Johnny Mercer Award Recipient: Exclusive

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

Rice, who teamed with Andrew Lloyd Webber to write such classics as Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, is the first songwriter primarily known for his work in theater to receive this award since Stephen Sondheim in 1999.


Rice is the second EGOT recipient to receive the Johnny Mercer Award – following Alan Menken. The two songwriters shared an Oscar and three Grammys for their work on Aladdin.

He’s the fifth songwriter or songwriting team from the U.K. to receive the honor, following Jule Styne (1993), Phil Collins (2010), Elton John & Bernie Taupin (2013) and Van Morrison (2015).

The Mercer Award, the SHOF’s highest honor, is reserved for a songwriter or songwriting team who has already been inducted in a prior year and whose body of work upholds the standards set by Johnny Mercer, a four-time Oscar-winner.

“I am truly honoured to be chosen to receive the Johnny Mercer Award,” Rice said in a statement. “My induction into the SHOF in 1999 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 25 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.”

Inductees at this year’s Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner are Sade Adu, Glen Ballard, Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan, Jeff Lynne, Teddy Riley and Liz Rose. The recipient of a second honorary award, the Hal David Starlight Award, will be announced at a later date.

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.”

Rice has won an Emmy, five Grammys, three Oscars and three Tonys. He won an Oscar and three Grammys for his work on Aladdin; two Tonys, a Grammy and an Oscar for Evita and its film adaptation; a Tony and a Grammy for Aida; an Oscar for The Lion King and an Emmy for Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert.

Rice has worked in music, theatre, and films since 1965. In addition to his work with Webber,  Rice has worked with such other top composers as Elton John (The Lion King, Aida), Menken (Aladdin, King David, Beauty and the Beast) and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (Chess). He has also written with Freddie Mercury, Burt Bacharach and Rick Wakeman, among others.

Rice’s recent musical From Here to Eternity returned to London in November 2022. A new Broadway presentation of Chess is set to open in the fall of 2023. In early 2024, a new production of Aida will make its U.K/West End début. Rice is currently writing and presenting a podcast, Get Onto My Cloud, in which he reminisces about his years in music, theater and film.

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