The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced early this year. Seven of these inductees are African Americans. This makes this year’s list of inductees the most diverse list in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame history. The inductees include:
- Todd Rundgren
- Carole King
- Tina Turner
- The Go-Go’s
- Foo Fighters
Early Influence Award
- Gil Scott-Heron
- Charley Patton
Musical Excellence Award
- Randy Rhoads
- LL Cool J
- Billy Preston
Ahmet Ertegun Award
- Clarence Avant
Jay-Z is a rapper who has 22 Grammys and 14 number one albums, the most in hip-hop history. Also, he is the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. According to the organization, Jay-Z has maintained hip-hop purists’ authenticity while achieving significant commercial success.
She is also known as the Queen of Rock & Roll. Turner rose to the spotlight in the 1960s together with Ike. She later ventured into her solo career in the 1980s. According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Turner is an embodiment of the strength coming from emotional recovery. Turner’s life and music have empowered fans across generations and given them the spirit and courage to reclaim their story in their words.
LL Cool J
He has been referred to as the Little Richard of hip-hop. LL Cool J was just in his teenage years when his first album was launched by Def Jam Records. His work has paved the way for other artists that Def Jam signed, such as Slick Rick, the Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame said that LL Cool J is the epitome of the entrepreneurial musician. He was able to leverage his career in music into successful ventures in fashion, television, movies, and fitness.
People called him “a teller of uncomfortable truths.” Gil Scott-Heron called himself a “bluesologist.” He is one of the key figures in the neo-soul and hip-hop genres. Even after dying in 2011, he is still a celebrity, and his music has been sampled by Drake, Kanye West, and Rihanna.
He is called the “Godfather of Black Music.” The organization referred to him as savvy, cool, fearless, and confident – a person who makes the impossible possible. During his career, Avant has served as a concert organizer, label owner, event producer, manager, mentor, and political fundraiser during his career. He was the manager for Jimmy Smith and Little Willie John before launching Sussex Records.
He was a singer & songwriter and a child prodigy. Preston also made an appearance on the Nat King Cole Show before he joined Little Richard’s touring band. He mixed rock, funk, gospel, and soul during his career.
John Sykes, the Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said that “this diverse class of talented inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture.”