HACKENSACK, NJ -- James "JT" Taylor and his fellow members of celebrated R&B/Funk band Kool & The Gang will be celebrating good times soon as the group is set to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Taylor, who was born and raised in Hackensack, will be joined by band mates Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell and George Brown in recognition of their career penning and performing hits like "Steppin' Out," "Jungle Boogie," and of course their seminal number one hit "Celebration." The band will be officially recognized at a ceremony to be held in July in New York. 

“The 2018 roster of Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees is a prodigious representation of creators of cross-genre hits, certain to resonate with everyone,” said Songwriting Hall of Fame co-chairs Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff and president/CEO Linda Moran in a statement announcing the honorees. “Each year, the slate of songwriters we induct is more diverse and illustrative of the history and contributions that we strive to acknowledge and honor. We could not be more excited to preside over this year’s event and to give these songwriters their due respect.”

Other 2018 inductees include notable songwriters John Mellancamp, Jermaine Dupri, Alan Jackson and more. 

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JT Thomas was honored by the Hackensack City Council at a public meeting in March of 2017 for the distinction he has brought to the city. City Council members read proclamations and posed with Thomas for photos in front of a packed room of well-wishers and fans. 

"My only intent in life is to bring joy, through my music and wherever I walk," said Taylor at the March 2017 Council meeting. "As long as I have breath I'm going to continue doing that. I've gotten awards around the world, but when you come home it means a lot more, and this award as is much yours as it is mine."