— -- Lionel Richie, Nile Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards of the band Chic, and the late Marvin Gaye were among the honorees Thursday night in New York City at the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s annual induction gala.
"Ooh, I feel good," Richie said.
He received the Hall's highest honor, the Johnny Mercer Award, and told reporters, "Songwriters honoring songwriters is the best it could ever be."
He also recalled the time when legendary songwriters Sammy Cahn and Henry Mancini admitted to him, "When we first saw you walk down the aisle at the Grammys with your Afro and your platform shoes, [we] said, 'There goes the music business.'"
"So to go from there to now, I think we've done all rright," he said, laughing.
"This means a hell of a lot more to me," he said. "I didn't start out trying to win awards, [but] when people started to approach me and say, 'Oh, you're nominated for this and nominated for that,' the thing that's the most precious to me is either playing or creating. [Well], they don't give you too many awards for playing, but for creating, this is the one."
Also inducted was Chip Taylor, best known for writing "Wild Thing" and "Angel of the Morning," as his brother, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight, was on hand to cheer him on. Rachel Platten performed "Angel of the Morning" at the ceremony, and Taylor told reporters that when he heard her sing it during sound check, he was blown away and believes it would hit No. 1 if she released it.
"She's one of the [most] soulful young people I've heard in a long time," he said.
Other performers and presenters included Sister Sledge, the B-52s, and Jennifer Hudson. Songwriters Hall of Fame co-chairmen Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff also told reporters they'd work to make sure Prince, who died in April, is inducted sooner rather than later.