On May 12, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame released the list of the 2021 class of Rock Hall inductees.  The new class will be officially inducted in October that Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation John Sykes promises will be, “an unforgettable live celebration of music”.

Carole King, Tina Turner and Dave Grohl will become two time inductees.  King was previously inducted with fellow songwriter Gerry Goffin and Turner was previously inducted as a part of Ike and Tina Turner.  Dave Grohl is already in The Hall as a part of Nirvana and will become a second time inductee as a part of The Foo Fighters.

Grohl, The Go-Go’s and Jay-Z are all being inducted after appearing on the ballot for the first time.

The remaining new members in the performance category are Todd Rundgren, Krafterwerk, Charley Patton, and Gill Scott Heron.


LL Cool J, Billy Preston, and Randy Rhoads are all being inducted under the Musical Excellence Award and the Ahmet Ertegun Award goes to Clarence Avant.

The top three artists in the fan votes were Tina Turner, The Go-Go’s, and the Foo Fighters.

Artists become eligible for membership in the Hall of Fame 25 years after their first record release.  Eligibility is based on the impact and influences of rock and roll.  Recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award are selected based on their contributions and influence of artists and rock and roll.

This year the induction ceremony will take place in the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30.  Tickets go on sale for the gala event in July.


About the inductees:
Known as the Godfather of Black Music, Clarence Avant has been a manager, a label owner, a concert organizer, mentor, fundraiser, and an event producer.  In the words of Billy Preston, Avant, “put people together”.  Avant created Sussex Records whose biggest artist was Bill Withers.


After the death of lead singer Kurt Cobain and the breakup of Nirvana, drummer Dave Grohl had a large collection of original music that needed to be heard…and the Foo Fighters was born.  Grohl went beyond fellow drummers and singers Don Henley and Phil Collins to perform nearly every instrument on the tracks of his debut album.

The all female band The Go-Go’s has become the most successful group in history beginning with their debut album that featured all female artists with original music to top the Billboard Album chart.

More than just a rapper, Jay-Z, has racked up 14 number one albums, 22 Grammy Awards, is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame – a first for a rapper -, and has sold out stadiums.  He founded the record label Roc-A Fella Records and later led Def Jam Records.  At Def Jam he signed Rihanna, Kanye West, and J. Cole.  The first hip-hop billionaire, Shawn Carter, Kay-Z has expanded into fashion, sports ownership, music streaming, and political activism.

A part of the pop music world for over 50 years, Carole King has six Grammy Award, the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize, a Kennedy Center Honour, and a successful Tony Award winning Broadway musical to her credit.

German band Kraftwerk are musical pioneers when it comes to the use of synthesizers and what became known as “Kosmische Musik” (cosmic music).  The band has had their music sampled by numerous artists including hip-hop artists; and has influenced many more.

Sometimes referred to as the “Little Richard of Hip-Hop”, LL Cool J is an award winning music artist and actor.  A Def Jam artist while still in his teens, his was the first album released by the label.  Surpassing hip-hop, LL Cool J was the first such artist to top the R&B music charts in 1987.

Before there was Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, or Robert Johnson; there was Charley Patton.  Known as the “Father of the Delta Blues”, Patten began playing when he was seven years old and went on to mentor Johnson, Son House, and Howlin’ Wolf.  He released his first recording in 1929.

“Will it go round in circles???”; it has for Billy Preston who has gone from a session and touring musician to an award winning artist and songwriter.  Sometimes known as “The Fifth Beatle”, Preston began paying organ for Mahalia Jackson when he was only 10 years old, toured with Little Richard, and has played with Sam Cooke.  He was singed to SAR Records at the age of 16 by Sam Cooke.  He later appeared on The Beatles final album in 1970.  He has also performed with Ray Charles, the Everly Brothers, the Rolling Stones, Sly and the Family Stone, Sir Elton John, Joni Mitchell, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Guitarist Randy Rhoads has influenced generation of rockers.  After beginning as a classical guitarist, Rhoads went on to pioneer the techniques used by solo guitarists in metal music.  Rhoads has played with Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne before dying in a plane crash in 1982.

Todd Rundgren is far more than a singer; he is a songwriter, mulit instrumentalist, producer, and engineer.  Since beginning with his band Nazz in 1967, Rundgren has gone on to entertain generations of fans and influenced many artists.

More than a musician, Gil Scott-Heron was a poet, novelist, and scholar.   A nonconformist, his debut album was a Spoken Word release that also reflected his numerous musical influences.  When Clive Davis took over Arista Records, Scott-Heron was the first person he signed to the label.  He has had his music sampled by Kanye West, Rihanna, and Drake.

Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul, but Tina Turner is the Queen of Rock and Roll.  She has been entertaining audiences and making hit records for over 50 years beginning with the Ike and Tine Turner band and later as a solo artist.  Turner has earned herself a number of Grammy Awards and multi platinum records.