Townes Van Zandt is among this year’s inductees to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Known as one of the most influential songwriters in his field, Van Zandt penned the classic hits “If I Needed You” and “Pancho and Lefty,” made famous by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. The Texas native was known for his sometimes dark and emotional songs, which reflected many of his own struggles. Van Zandt died at the age of 52 of cardiac arrythmia, which stemmed from years of substance abuse.
This year’s other inductees include Bob Morrison, who wrote Johnny Lee’s 1980 hit, “Lookin’ for Love,” as well as tracks for the Dixie Chicks and the Oak Ridge Boys. Aaron Barker is best known for writing some of George Strait’s biggest hits, including “Baby Blue” and “Love Without End, Amen.”
Beth Nielsen Chapman is also known for her string of incredible country hits in the 1990s. Chapman penned Faith Hill’s crossover success, “This Kiss” and Tanya Tucker’s “Strong Enough to Bend.”
All four inductees will be honored on Oct. 9 during the 46th annual Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala, which will be held at Nashville’s Music City Center.