Garth Brooks and Billy Joel Duet

06/20/2011
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(Gibson) The Songwriters Hall of Fame got a big dose of country last week with the induction of Garth Brooks. The Yukon, Oklahoma native, who rose to stardom in the late '80s/early '90s on the strength of such hits as "If Tomorrow Never Comes," "Unanswered Prayers" and "The Thunder Rolls," was inducted by Billy Joel, who wrote the hit, "Shameless," for Brooks' 1991 album, Ropin' the Wind.

"You talk about songwriters," Brooks gushed to the Associated Press. "[Joel is] one of the greatest songwriters of all time. And he's taken a day out of his life to do this. I feel very lucky."

Joining Brooks at the New York City gala was fellow 2011 inductee Leon Russell, who performed "Superstar" with Dwight Yoakam. Other inductees included Allen Toussant, Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, John Bettis and the duo of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who co-wrote the Righteous Brothers' classic, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," with Phil Spector, as well as hits by The Animals, The Crystals and Paul Revere & the Raiders.

[According to organizers, the event featured a Garth Brooks and Billy Joel's duet of "Shameless," in matching black cowboy hats. Chaka Khan's performed "I'm Every Woman," Leon Russell on piano with "A Song for You" and Trisha Yearwood's beautiful medley tribute to Hal David, including "What The World Needs Now."] more on this story

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