|In the late ‘90s Hill shifted his focus to writing songs for other artists, and became a versatile writer-on-demand for pop, country and R&B icons including Barry Manilow, George Benson, Spain’s Camilo Sesto, Reba McEntire, and the Backstreet Boys. His many successes include the No. 1 country hits I Do (Cherish You) and Love Of My Life; and he received a 1996 Grammy Award for co-producing Celine Dion’s album “Falling Into You,” which featured his song Seduces Me co-written with John Sheard.
As Hill states in his 2009 bestselling memoir, “Right from the beginning, I’ve written songs simply because I’ve had no other choice.” He began composing songs from the age of 14, and would also later pen articles for the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, and Toronto newspapers including one entitled “On Being Black.” Hill has often used his writing talents to share personal experiences on race, relationships, and socio-political commentary, such as the song, McCarthy’s Day (1977), about the courageous inter-racial relationship between his American-born parents.
His matchless talent is still in demand as he continues to write and record music including the 2009 album “Intimate,” and his topical 2020 single What About Black Lives? off his 2021 album “On The Other Side of Here”. As Hill says, “There’s still a craving for real songs. People still want to have old-fashioned songs with stories, strong melodies and relatable lyrics.”
More than four decades since the release of Sometimes When We Touch, the song continues to receive radio play and has been covered by numerous artists including Tammy Wynette, Oscar Peterson, Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow, Ginette Reno and Cleo Laine. Hill declared, “So many pop stars recorded it…that in a sense it didn’t belong to me any longer. It was bigger than me, bigger than life.”
Dan Hill has earned six ASCAP Awards and SOCAN’s William Harold Moon Award for international songwriting success. He published a best-selling memoir in 2009, I Am My Father’s Son: A Memoir of Love and Forgiveness, where he opens up about the relationship with his father, who was a social activist and later became the first Director of the Ontario Human Rights Commission; as well as with his brother Lawrence Hill (The Book of Negroes), and late sister Karen, who was also an accomplished poet.