Sting, Billy Joel, Elton John at Songwriters Hall

Sting, Billy Joel, Elton John at Songwriters Hall

June 14th, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Elton John, left, and Bernie Taupin accept the "Johnny Mercer" award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 44th annual induction and awards gala on Thursday, June 13, 2013 in New York.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Sting performs at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 44th annual induction and awards gala on Thursday, June 13, 2013 in New York.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

NEW YORK - Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Foreigner's Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, Holly Knight, JD Souther and Tony Hatch are officially part of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The songwriters were inducted into the 2013 class Thursday in New York City. Sting, Nickelback, Petula Clark, Wiz Khalifa and Jordin Sparks were among the performers.

The 44th annual ceremony also featured a video message from Bill Clinton, who spoke about the significance of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," which was honored with the towering song award.

Elton John and writing partner Bernie Taupin received the Johnny Mercer award and Berry Gordy earned the pioneer award. Benny Blanco, who has co-written hits for Katy Perry and Maroon 5, earned the Hal David Starlight award.