Tina Turner, JAY-Z, Todd Rundgren, Kraftwerk and Carole King among the names to be inducted at this year’s ceremony
Based on all the caterwauling on social media within the music journalism bubble, there’s no bigger topic than the announcement of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021.
Based on all the hullabaloo, there are a number of folks bummed about Foo Fighters getting in ahead of names like Kate Bush, DEVO and The New York Dolls. But look on the bright side, with that induction you get two original members of Sunny Day Real Estate and a Germ in the Rock Hall. That’s gotta count for something, right?
As for JAY-Z getting in immediately, he deserves the fast track pass quite honestly. No other rapper in the last 25 years has been more consistent and consistently innovative in the commercial realm of hip-hop music.
Upon reading some grumblings about the Go-Go’s getting in, well I’ll just say this: As I sit here listening to this brand new 20th anniversary expanded edition of 2001’s God Bless The Go-Go’s and reminded of how these women came back 30 years after setting off a New Wave tsunami in Los Angeles to make an album as good and as anything released by a band who happened to be all female in 2001. They should have been in the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility and it’s about time.
It’s also about time Tina Turner, Todd Rundgren and Carole King were inducted as well, and it’s baffling to think it has taken this long for all three of these iconic figures to get inducted. Imagine what the last 50 years of pop music might have sounded like had there never been a Runt or a Tapestry or a Private Dancer? Enough said.
One more thing: Seeing Randy Rhoads getting in via the Musical Excellence Award alongside Billy Preston and LL Cool J is a beautiful surprise as well. The onetime Quiet Riot guitar wiz was only 25 when he died, and to think of what he was doing with Ozzy on Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman one could only imagine where Randy would have gone had tragedy not struck on March 19, 1982 following a freak plane crash. His incorporations of Segovian classical guitar into the metal landscape was nothing short of groundbreaking.
The Rock Hall 2021 ceremony is set to take place October 30, 2021, at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (An HBO and HBO Max special will air at a later date.)
“We see this being one of the first major live in-person events to celebrate the opening of America and the world again,” Sykes said. “One tradition that will continue will be younger artists paying tribute to the older ones who were inducted.”
Find a complete list of the 2021 induction class below.
Ahmet Ertegun Award:
Musical Excellence Award:
LL Cool J
Early Influence Award:
VIDEO: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame President & CEO Greg Harris announces the Class of 2021