Phil Collins wins Johnny Mercer songwriting award

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Phil Collins
Image caption,
Phil Collins has had success as a solo artist and as member of Genesis

Singer Phil Collins has received the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame gala.

The singer, who has sold over 100 million records as a solo artist and with the band Genesis, said writing a popular track is "a complete accident".

This year's inducted songwriters included Leonard Cohen, Jackie DeShannon, David Foster, and R&B band Earth Wind and Fire.

Singer Taylor Swift received the Hal David starlight award.

Speaking on the red carpet, Collins said: "For a songwriter, it's a huge honour. I was very surprised when I got the news."

The musician revealed that when organisers contacted him about the award, he had originally assumed he would have been presenting it, instead of receiving it.

"That's something that I never thought I'd be qualified to get, I still don't think I'm qualified to get," he said.

The award is the second major honour this year for the 59-year-old, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March.

Phil Ramone was given the hitmakers award, which is given to songwriters who have written a number of hit songs over an extended period.

Billy Joel, who cited the producer as a major influence on his music, presented Ramone with his trophy at the ceremony in New York.

Paul Simon's Bridge Over Troubled Water was also honoured to commemorate its 40th anniversary.

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