Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind is well documented, but what about a Buckeye State of Mind? He’ll find out later this year when he celebrates his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
The rap great joins a crop of performers including Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go’s, Foo Fighters, and Todd Rundgren for its class of 2021, what the organization calls its most diverse group of inductees ever.
Indeed, the six honored acts this year span generations of pop, soul, new wave, alternative rock, and hip-hop; the induction of Turner, King, and The Go-Go’s marks the very first time three female artists have made it in via the performers category in the same class.
In addition, an accolade called the Musical Excellence Award will be given to rap icon LL Cool J, late soul/R&B legend Billy Preston, and late metal guitarist Randy Rhoads. Meanwhile, German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, late jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron, and Delta blues musician Charley Patton will receive the Early Influence Award. The Rock Hall’s Ahmet Ertegun Award, which is given to non-performing music industry professionals, will be presented to executive Clarence Avant.
John Sykes, the chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said in a statement that this year’s class embody the spirit of the institution: “This diverse class of talented inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture.”
If it seems like Dave Grohl, evergreen spokesperson for all things rock, should already be in the Rock Hall, don’t worry: He is, having been inducted in 2014 as part of Nirvana. The same goes for 20th-century music icons Carole King and Tina Turner, who were both previously inducted for their work as halves of duos. King and her songwriting partner Gerry Goffin — who penned hits like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Chains,” “The Loco-Motion” and dozens more — were inducted in 1990; Turner made it in the following year for her long partnership with Ike Turner, which yielded “River Deep – Mountain High,” “Proud Mary,” and more.
The nominations for the 2021 Rock Hall class were unveiled in February and also included Mary J. Blige, Iron Maiden, Rage Against the Machine, Kate Bush, Devo, Chaka Khan, Fela Kuti, New York Dolls, and Dionne Warwick. An act is eligible for inclusion at least 25 years after the release of its first commercial recording.
The 2021 Rock & Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremony, its 36th, will take place on October 30 and will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max at a later date.