The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony was postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ceremony returned with much surprise, touching tributes and wild guest filled party held in what many regard as the only rightful home in Cleveland, Ohio.
Taylor Swift was the opening act for the ceremony. She serenaded Carole King with a syncopated version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” and presented King for her solo artist induction into the Rock Hall.
The 81-year-old King was brought to tears by Swift’s tribute. She performed her classic “You’ve Got a Friend” on piano, with three of the session players who recorded the album with her 51 years ago. King also invoked the late Aretha Franklin, the first woman ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is King’s second time to be inducted. The first time was when she was inducted as a songwriter with her late former husband Gerry Goffin. This time, she celebrated her career as a solo performer that included the music she made after the life-shattering divorce.
Like King, Tina Turner was also inducted into the Rock Hall for the second time. Like King, Turner was also inducted years ago along as a songwriting duo with her abusive husband Ike. Turner was forced to reinvent herself in her 50s and ended up miraculously reviving her music career. Turner was absent from the event as she now lives quietly in Switzerland. Although she did send thanks by video. Christina Aguilera sang a medley of Turner’s biggest hits as a tribute.
Dave Grohl was also inducted for the second time into the hall of game. The Foo Fighters frontman was a member of the grunge band Nirvana, which was inducted in 2014.
Foo Fighters gave a blow-out performance at the ceremony playing the Beatles’ “get Back” with Grohl and Paul McCartney teaming up. McCartney inducted the Foo Fighters, comparing his career after the Beatles’ breakup to Grohl emerging like a phoenix out of the ashes of Nirvana’s untimely end with a new approach to music.
Pharrell inducted the German experimental band Kraftwerk while Barack Obama spoke via video and called the 23-time Grammy winner Jay-Z the “embodiment of the American Dream”. Jay-Z rose from a poor New York neighbourhood to become a billionaire songwriter, record executive and a businessman.
The late Rock Hall inclusion of the Go-Go’s was a thorn for the band as they were the first commercially successful all-female group whose members actually wrote music and played instruments. They are the first and only all-female band to be inducted into the Rock Hall.
Rapper LL Cool J and the late Billy Preston were also inducted. The honours recognise artists who have spent more than 25 years in the music industry.