Throughout the history of American Popular music, the most important relationship has been that of the songwriter and the singer.
Before sound recordings were available, music was distributed on a nationwide basis through sheet music and performed in variety acts. Only when gramophones were introduced and the Dixie Land Band was heard in every home, did the recording artist become relevant on a nationwide basis. With film musicals and records that could play in the home, the public actually saw and heard their favorite artist and a new celebrity was born.
In the beginning of the 1950ís, radio play and plugging became more prominent and music was being produced for sale to the public mostly in the form of records targeted toward teenagers rather than sheet music created for adults who went to theatres and bought music for the home. By the late 1950ís, Elvis Presley had set the standard for both Rock ní Roll and forever changed the importance of an artistís performance. His popularity created a new outlet for songs and professional songwriters were called upon to introduce their compositions with Elvis as the vehicle. The performing artist had become the focus of a songís success and has remained the focus ever since.
The artists listed in this section include the top recording artists of hit songs written by Hall of Fame inductees from the late 1800ís to present day. These artists are chart-topping performers who have all added something unique to the sound of American popular music.