Teddy Riley is “not overly excited” about Songwriters Hall of Fame honor: “I still have this mission to do more”

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On Thursday, June 15, Teddy Riley will join the likes of Berry GordyBabyface and his protégé Pharrell when he’s inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He says “it feels amazing,” but notes it doesn’t indicate the end of his musical journey. 

I mean, it’s always good to get recognized for what you’ve done in your craft, and I just really feel like it’s just another thing on my belt and I’m still going,” he tells ABC Audio. “So I’m not overly excited because I’m still doing what I love and I still have this mission to do more.”

Ironically, the desire to do and learn more is exactly what led Teddy to songwriting, as he started in the industry as a producer. 

“Songwriting just naturally got into the mix because as I was going up into my craft, I said to myself, ‘I want to learn everything there is to know about the entertainment business.’ So writing was one of those things,” he explains. “I had to learn the fundamentals of it first, and once I learned … it just became a part of making music. It was just a part of my repertoire and a part of my mission to become … one of the greats, as people say.” 

Teddy is responsible for writing hits including Michael Jackson‘s “Remember the Time,” Keith Sweat‘s “Make It Last Forever,” a few songs from his groups Guy and Blackstreet, and Bobby Brown‘s “My Prerogative,” which he wishes he would have kept for himself. 

As he continues making music, Teddy says he’s inspired by the ability to breathe, talk to his children and mother, look forward to his forthcoming grandson and obtain success by staying true to himself. His peers Babyface, Jimmy JamTerry Lewis and Pharrell also serve as inspirations. 


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