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Absent Jay Z inducted to Songwriters Hall by Obama via video

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/16/2017 By MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer
Music mogul Berry Gordy accepts his award at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Music mogul Berry Gordy accepts his award at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Jay Z, whose wife Beyonce is expecting twins soon, was absent from the 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame, where he was inducted by a charismatic longtime fan: former President Barack Obama.

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran accepts the Hal David Starlight Award at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran accepts the Hal David Starlight Award at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Obama, appearing in a taped video, told the audience Thursday that he's been listening to Jay Z since he was a "young and hungry state senator" and compared himself to the New York rapper.

Usher performs at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Usher performs at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Jay Z became the first rapper inducted into the prestigious organization and was the first hip-hop act nominated for the honor.

Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds accepts his award at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds accepts his award at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The 2017 Songwriters Hall class also included Motown founder Berry Gordy; R&B maestro Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds; songwriting duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis; pop music great Max Martin; and members of Chicago.

Singer Jon Bon Jovi performs at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Singer Jon Bon Jovi performs at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The event in New York City gave special honors to Ed Sheeran and Pitbull.

Chicago band members and inductees Robert Lamm, left, and James Pankow perform at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Chicago band members and inductees Robert Lamm, left, and James Pankow perform at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
© The Associated Press
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