Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2021: Inductees


Guitars outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Photo Courtesy of Andrew Hitchcock via Flickr.

The 36th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is less than a week away, happening on Oct. 30 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. With the event around the corner, everything you need to know about the most significant event in the rock and roll industry has been released, including inductees, presenters, and performers. We’ve decided to break down all of this to prepare for this big event, so you know what to expect. Here is everything you need to know about the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.


Earlier this year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced this year’s inaugural inductees. Like many other recent years, the list includes some performers who don’t necessarily align with rock and roll. Despite this, the list has been released, and each of these individuals has contributed to the legacy of rock and roll in one way or another. The awards are broken into four categories: performer, early influence, musical excellence, and the Ahmet Ertegun Award. To be eligible, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years before induction. Here is the complete list:

Performers Award:

Honoring bands and solo artists who, in their careers, have created music whose originality, impact and influence has changed the course of rock & roll.
  • Tina Turner – Considered the “Queen of Rock n Roll,” American-born Swiss singer-songwriter is regarded as one of the greatest music artists of the 20th century. She rose to prominense as the lead singer of the Ike & Tine Turner Revenue before embarking on a successful solo tour. Tina Turner has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. She has received 12 Grammy Awards, which include eight competitive awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Throughout her career, she has released 10 solo studio albums.
  • Carole King – American singer-songwriter Carole King has been active since 1958, and is considered one of the most successful female songwriters of the second half of the 20th century. King has written 61 hits to chart in the UK, and has been associated with 118 pop hits on the Billbaord Hot 100. King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry, which held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist for more than 20 years. Her record sales were estimated at more than 75 million copies worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards and has been inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. This will be the second time King is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the first coming in 1990 as a non-performer with Gerry Goffin.
  • The Go-Go’s – As the most successful all-woman rock band of all time, the Go-Go’s performed catchy, well-crafted songs that formed a bridge between the brash urgency of L.A. punk and the dark melodies of new wave pop. The band’s initial stint only lasted seven years, but they would reunite in 1990, 1994, and then again in 1999 until now. During that time, the band has only released four studio albums, most recently releasing God Bless The Go-Go’s in 2001.
  • JAY-Z – JAY-Z is considered by many to be the greatest rapper alive. His accolades include 14 number one albums (most ever by a solo artist), 22 Grammys (most in hip-hop history), and first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2017).
  • Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters came from the ashes of Nirvana, when Dave Grohl decided to move from drums to the microphone. Starting in 1994, the band has released 10 studio albums, most recently releasing Medicine at Midnight earlier this year. The band has won 12 Grammys so far, including Best Rock Album four times. Most recently, Foo Fighters were announced as the first recipients of the first-ever global icon award at the 2021 MTV Video Awards. This is the band’s first year of eligibility into the Hall of Fame.
  • Todd Rundgren – Todd Rundgren is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, in-demand producer, engineer, audiophile, technophile – all to critical acclaim. A Philadelphia native, Rundgren was influenced by the sound of soul, British rock, vocal harmony, and 1960s singer-songwriters. In 1967, he formed power pop group Nazz and honed his chops as a songwriter, but his curiosity led to more. We can hear Todd Rundgren’s influence in everyone from Prince and Daryl Hall and John Oates to Björk and Daft Punk.

Early Influence Award:

Given to a performing artist or group whose music and performance style have directly influenced and helped inspire and evolve rock & roll and music that has impacted youth culture. 
  • Kraftwerk – German band Kraftwek has been inducted for being pioneers within electronic music. The group began as part of West Germany’s experimental krautrock scene in the early 1970s before fully embracing electronic instrumentation, including synthesizers, drum machines, and vocoders. Their success has influenced many modern genres, including rock and roll. Throughout the band’s history, Kraftwerk has released 11 studio albums. They have also won three Grammy awards, including the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Charley Patton – Posthomulously inducted, Charley Patton was an American Delta blues musicians. He was widely considered as the “father of the Delta Blues,” and has laid the groundwork for many rock musicians today. Throughout his career, he has released dozens of recordings with Paramount and Cocalion. Although the Delta blues artist has never won a Grammy, his 2001 boxed set of collections won three Grammys in 2003.
  • Gil Scott-Heron – Poet, novelist, scholar and musician Gil Scott-Heron was many things during his prolific career but above all, in the words of music critic Nelson George, “he was a teller of uncomfortable truths.” Scott-Heron’s career path was unconventional, mirroring his nonconformist approach to music. While Scott-Heron rejected the label of “first rapper ever” (he preferred the term “bluesologist”), there’s no denying his role as a key progenitor of hip-hop and neo-soul.

Musical Excellence Award:

Given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music. 
  • LL Cool J – LL Cool J is an American rapper and record producer from Queens, New York. The two-time Grammy winner has released 13 studio albums and two greatest hits albums. n 2017, LL Cool J became the first rapper to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.
  • Billy Preston – Session musician. Singer. Songwriter. Touring musician. The Fifth Beatle. Billy Preston blazed a path through the history of rock & roll with the smoking sounds of his B3 organ, the funky rhythms of his clavinet, and the exciting tones of his gospel-inspired vocals and piano. A child prodigy, Billy played organ with Mahalia Jackson, and in 1957 at the age of 10, he appeared on the Nat King Cole Show, performing a duet with Cole.
  • Randy Rhoads – Another posthomunous inductee, Randy Rhoads was an American heavy metal guitarist who played with Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne. He appears on several “greatest guitarist” lists and continues to inspire heavy-mtel musiians to this day. He diedi in a plane crash in 1982. In 2017, Rhoads was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History for defining heavy metal lead guitar.

Ahmet Ertegun Award:

Given to non-performing industry professionals who, through their dedicated belief and support of artists and their music have had a major influence on the creative development and growth of rock & roll and music that has impacted youth culture.
  • Clarence Avant

“This diverse class of talented Inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture,” said John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “It will make for an unforgettable live celebration of music in October at this year’s Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.”

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