The late spoken-word poet/activist/“bluesologist” Gil Scott-Heron and the late Mississippi Delta blues guitarist Charlie Patton will also be inducted in the Early Influence category, along with the German techno band Kraftwerk. Hip-hop star and actor LL Cool J and the late Billy Preston will receive Musical Excellence awards, along with metal guitarist Randy Rhoads.
“This diverse class of talented Inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture. It will make for an unforgettable live celebration of music in October at this year’s Induction ceremony in Cleveland,” John Sykes, chairman of the hall’s foundation, said in a statement unveiling the inductees.
Turner was previously inducted in 1991 as part of the duo Ike and Tina Turner, for seminal works such as “Proud Mary” and “River Deep-Mountain High.” The 2021 induction recognizes Tina Turner’s solo career, forged after her divorce from Ike Turner and insistence on keeping her stage name. The 1984 album “Private Dancer” put Turner solidly in the music firmament, yielding seven hit singles and winning four Grammy Awards.
Jay-Z’s career includes the 1996 hit album “Reasonable Doubt” and 2009 single “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys. Jay-Z also was the head of his independent music label, Roc-a-Fella Records, and was president of Def Jam Recordings from 2005 to 2007. He held a large ownership stake in the Tidal music streaming service shortly after its 2015 launch. He sold it in March.
The Ahmet Ertegun Award goes to promoter, manager, broadcaster and producer Clarence Avant. As the head of Sussex Records, Avant signed and launched singer Bill Withers, whose first albums yielded hits “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean On Me” and “Use Me.”
The 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be simulcast on SiriusXM Radio and shown at a not-yet-announced date on HBO and HBO Max.
(Edited by Matthew B. Hall and Judith Isacoff)
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