The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame made the announcement for the 2021 induction class on Wednesday (May 12) and music legends Tina Turner and JAY-Z will join the likes of Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Carole King, Todd Rundgren in the Performers category.
Along with Turner and JAY-Z, LL Cool J, Billy Preston and Randy Rhoads will receive the Musical Excellence Award for their contributions to music over their decades-long careers. Kraftwerk, Gil Scott-Heron and Charley Patton will receive the Early Influence Award and Sussex Records founder and the mythical Black Godfather Clarence Avant will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
The 2021 induction ceremony will take place at Cleveland, Ohio’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30th and will air on HBO Max at a later date.
“This is our most diverse class in the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” John Sykes, the chairman of the Rock Hall said. “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.”
Tina Tuner becomes a two-time inductee into the hall after she entered in 1991 as half of the Ike & Tina Turner duo.
“It’s very difficult to get inducted twice and we have three this year,” Sykes said. “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.”
Last year, the pandemic forced the Rock Hall to hold a virtual event on HBO last November. Instead of live performances and speeches, mini-documentaries were created in place to honor those inducted. Although live performances are indeed welcome at this year’s festivities, it’s unclear if Turner will perform considering she’s been retired for well over a decade and now lives in Switzerland.
“We’d be so proud and honored to have her attend,” Sykes said. “It just depends on how she feels and whether she wants to fly to America. It would be quite a moment if she could. I promise you, if she cannot make the trip, there will be an incredible tribute paid to her by a group of artists.”
For LL, the nod is a long time coming. A six-time nominee in the Performer’s category, his induction into the hall under the Music Excellence umbrella finally gives him his just due. For JAY-Z, getting into the Hall on his first ballot now puts him in a similar stature as 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G., who were inducted in 2017 and 2020 respectively.