Jay-Z, Foo Fighters and Tina Turner welcomed to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
CLEVELAND – Jay-Z added another title to a resume that includes rapper, songwriter, Grammy winner, billionaire business mogul and global icon – Hall of Famer.
The self-proclaimed “greatest rapper alive” was inducted Saturday night as part of an eclectic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2021 class that included Foo Fighters, Carole King, Tina Turner, The Go-Gos and Todd Rundgren.
Once a drug dealer on the rough streets of Brooklyn, New York, Jay-Z crossed the rap world with harsh, straightforward songs that often portrayed the struggles of black people in America.
His catalog includes songs like “Hard Knock Life”, “99 Problems” and “Empire State of Mind”, as well as 14 No.1 albums.
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After a video introduction that included President Barack Obama, LeBron James and David Letterman, Jay-Z was inducted by comedian Dave Chappelle, who praised him for being an inspiration.
“It rhymed a recipe for survival,” said Chappelle. “He embodies what the potential of our lives can be and what success can be. “
Paul McCartney hosted the Foo Fighters, who wore the mantle as one of rock’s best arena groups. Initially, the band was little more than a side project for frontman Dave Grohl, who had previously been inducted as Nirvana’s drummer.
Foo Fighters and McCartney closed the show with “Get Back” by The Beatles.
Rapper LL Cool J has been recognized for musical excellence along with keyboardist Billy Preston and guitarist Randy Rhoads.
Electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, singer-poet Gil Scott-Heron and Delta blues legend Charley Patton were inducted as early influencers and Sussex Records founder Clarence Avant received the Ahmet Ertegun award.
Cool J recruited some of his heavyweight musician friends to introduce him to rock immortality. One of hip-hop rap’s first superstars was joined on stage by Eminem and Jennifer Lopez for a powerful career spanning performance.
Superstar Taylor Swift opened the show with one of King’s best-known songs, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” which appeared on “Tapestry,” his flagship album from 1971 – a soundtrack for a generation.
Swift gave a touching and heartfelt induction speech for one of her musical idols.
“I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know Carole King’s music,” Swift said, saying her parents taught her several important lessons as a child, one of the most important being ” that Carole King is the greatest songwriter of all time. “
King thanked Swift “for carrying the torch”. She noted that other singers and songwriters said they stood on her shoulders.
“Let this not be forgotten,” King said. “They also stand on the shoulders of the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. May she rest in power, Miss Aretha Franklin.
Turner, 81, who was most successful when she left her abusive husband Ike Turner, lives in Switzerland and did not attend the ceremony.
“If they’re still giving me awards at 81,” Turner said in a video message. “I must have done something right.”
Considered the greatest girl group in rock history, The Go-Go’s emerged from the Los Angeles punk scene in the 1980s. The quintet broke rules and shattered gender ceilings in an industry dominated by women. men with hits like “We Got The Beat”, “My Lips Are Sealed” and “Head Over Heels”.
Best known for his mellow ballads like “Hello It’s Me” and “Love Is The Answer,” Rundgren has also had a long way to induce. He was candid about the venue selection process and skipped the ceremony in protest.
“Always provocative,” Patti Smith said in a video featuring Rundgren.
This year’s ceremony was first held at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the 20,000-seat home of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and a location familiar to Jay-Z and Foo Fighters, who have played in the arena before.
It was a return to normal for the event, which was forced to go virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Artists are only eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first recording. There are heated debates every year over omissions, and as Public Enemy’s Chuck D noted at a plaque induction ceremony in the Hall on Friday, patience is sometimes another requirement for entry.
“It’s not an overnight thing,” he said. “You cannot fall into this place.”
This was certainly the case for King, who had been eligible for consecration as a solo artist since 1986. She was previously a songwriter with Gerry Goffin, her late husband, in 1990.
The ceremony will air on HBO on November 20.