NEW YORK (CBS/AP) How many years do you have to have in the music business to be honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame?
The answer is not many, judging from Thursday's awards ceremony in New York.
Though she was not inducted into the hall, country music star Taylor Swift, 20, was among those honored. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter released her first album in 2006.
Singer John Mayer, a Swift friend and collaborator, presented her with the Hal David Starlight Award, saying "she's no accident."
"You could put her in a time machine in any era and she would have a hit record," he said, adding this about her incredible success: "Don't confuse everybody loving one thing as hype. Sometimes that's everyone agreeing that it's fabulous."
Inductees included Paul Simon, who wrote the iconic ballad "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and 75-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, whose "Suzanne" and "Hallelujah" were performed at the ceremony by Judy Collins and k.d. lang respectively.
A soft-spoken Cohen quoted from his enduring song when he accepted his honor, saying, in part, "I'll stand before the lord of song with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah." He received a standing ovation.
Other inductees were Jackie DeShannon, whose hits include Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes"; reggae great Bob Marley; the late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro; Johnny Mandel, creator of the theme for "M.A.S.H."; David Foster, the Grammy-winning producer and songwriter who's worked with top artists ranging from Michael Jackson to Barbra Streisand; the principal members of the legendary band Earth, Wind & Fire; the late jazz songwriter Jesse Stone; the late Sunny Skylar, whose hits included "Besame Mucho"; and the team of Tom Adair & Matt Dennis, now deceased, who wrote songs such as "Everything Happens to Me."