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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its inductees for this year, noting that it is the most diverse class in its history.
Rolling Stone reported that joining the class of 2021 in the Performers category are Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Jay-Z, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, and Tina Turner.
“This is our most diverse class in the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said chairman John Sykes, who is also IHeartMedia’s President of Entertainment Enterprises. “It really represents the Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor the artists that have created not only rock and roll but the sound of youth culture.”
Dave Grohl, Tina Turner, and Carole King will enter the Hall of Fame for the second time. Rolling Stone reported, “King was inducted along with her former songwriting partner Gerry Goffin in 1990 as a non-performer, Tina Turner entered in 1991 as half of the Ike & Tina Turner duo, and Grohl was brought in as Nirvana’s drummer in 2014.”
“It’s very difficult to get inducted twice and we have three this year,” said Sykes. “It’s also a rare year where three of the six inductees are women: Tina, Carole, and the Go-Gos. It just shows the continued power and relevance and recognition of women in music.”
This year, there are more inductees outside of the Performers category than the event usually includes. The outlet reported that while most years there are two or three of those inductees, this year will have seven.
“That’s because we’ve really created, for the first time this year, special committees that actually nominate and induct artists,” said Sykes. “These are very diverse committees that actually include artists themselves like [Run-DMC’s] Darryl McDaniels, Little Steven, and Tom Morello.”
LL Cool J, Billy Preston, and Randy Rhoads will get the Musical Excellence Award while Kraftwerk, Gil Scott Heron, and Charley Patton will receive the Early Influence Award. Sussex Records founder Clarence Avant will get the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
Rolling Stone said that LL Cool J and Kraftwerk were both nominated six times in past years, but did not get through with the regular procedures. Giving them the Musical Excellence and Early Influence awards allows them to go around the voters.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are eager to get back to in-person events after the world adapted to a mostly virtual environment over the past year. Induction ceremonies in the past have taken place at the Public Hall, which seats 10,000 people. This year, however, the event is being moved to the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse which seats 20,000 people.
“We just needed more room,” said Sykes. “Tickets go so fast and we wanted to have as many people from the Cleveland area be able to attend the show as possible.”
Sykes discussed the ceremony in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and a return to normalcy. “I think we’re going to see this fall as the very beginnings of the reopening of live music in America,” said Sykes, who noted that the event will comply with COVID-19 guidelines. “An event like the Rock and Roll of Fame induction ceremony will be a precursor of what we’re all looking forward to getting back to in 2022.”