Breaking down the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2021

Asia's Tech News Daily

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 is one of the most loaded in history. So much so, you might actually forget everyone who is part of it.

Thirteen inductees will be honored during a ceremony at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Oct. 30. We took some time to break down each of the legendary figures who will be celebrated in less than two weeks:

Carole King

Category: Performer

Eligible since: 1986

Nominations: 2

Essential listening: “Tapestry” (1971)

Presenter: Taylor Swift

Why she’s getting in: King was first inducted into the Rock Hall’s non-performer category for her songwriting alongside Gerry Goffin. But fans have long called for King’s induction as a performer as well. And who can blame them? King’s own solo career is peppered with classic songs and albums, highlighted by 1971′s landmark “Tapestry,” widely considered one of the greatest albums in music history.

Foo Fighters

Category: Performer

Members being inducted: Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear

Eligible since: 2021

Nominations: 1

Essential listening: “The Colour and the Shape” (1997)

Presenter: Paul McCartney

Whey they’re getting in: Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl already helped change music history with Nirvana (he was inducted with the band in 2014). But Foo Fighters became an essential part of the grunge era, establishing a level of consistency and longevity rarely seen in modern music. It’s not a stretch to say Foo Fighters have been carrying the torch for rock music for the past two decades.

The Go-Go’s

Category: Performer

Members being inducted: Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine, Jane Wiedlin

Eligible since: 2006

Nominations: 1

Essential listeng: “Beauty and the Beat” (1982)

Presenter: Drew Barrymore

Why they’re getting in: You can rarely deliver one sentence that encapsulates an artist’s Rock Hall worthiness — In 1982 the Go-Go’s became the first all-female band to top the Billboard 200 chart writing and performing their own material. The Go-Go’s were as integral as any act in establishing the new wave as a formidable genre while taking girl-power mainstream.


Category: Performer

Eligible since: 2021

Nominations: 1

Essential listening “Reasonable Doubt” (1996)

Presenter: TBA

Why he’s getting in: Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter didn’t release his first album until he was 26, which is ancient in hip-hop years. But since that time, he’s been the most consistent, influential and, arguably, best rapper alive. Jay-Z has also accomplished the rare feat of growing beyond the hip hop genre to become a pop culture icon.

Tina Turner

Category: Performer

Eligible since: 1990

Nominations: 2

Essential listening: “What’s Love Got to Do with It” (1984)

Presenter: Angela Bassett

Why she’s getting in: Tina Turner’s career can be divided into two parts. She and Ike Turner were a pioneering act in rock and roll, earning induction into the Rock Hall as a duo in 1991. But after the fallout of their marriage, Turner re-emerged as one of the biggest pop forces of the 1980s. Her story stands as one of the greatest comeback tales in music history.

Todd Rundgren

Category: Performer

Eligible since: 1996

Nominations: 3

Essential listening: “Something/Anything?” (1972)

Presenter: TBA

Why he’s getting in: Following careers with the Nazz and Utopia, Todd Rundgren became one of music’s greatest pop songwriters and producers, highlighted by his best-selling album “Something/Anything?” While Rundgren could have kept making pop hits with ease, he instead focused on making the kind of music he desired, regularly staying ahead of music trends.


Members being inducted: Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür, Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider

Category: Early Influence

Eligible since: 1995

Nominations: 6

Essential listening: “Trans-Europe Express” (1977)

Presenter: TBA

Why they’re getting in: Kraftwerk’s influence on popular music is immeasurable. As pioneers of electronic music, Kraftwerk shaped the modern template for all dance music with the band’s influence felt in synth-pop, art pop, hip hop, krautrock and numerous other genres.

Charley Patton

Category: Early Influence

Eligible since: 1986

Essential listening: “Screamin’ and Hollerin’ the Blues: The Worlds of Charley Patton” (2001)

Presenter: TBA

Why he’s getting in: Patton was blues first star, making him one of the most important musical figures of the 20th century. Patton’s work would influence everyone from Robert Johnson and Son House to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

Gil Scott-Heron

Category: Early Influence

Eligible since: 1995

Essential listening: “Winter in America” (1974)

Presenter: TBA

Why he’s getting in: Scott-Heron’s street poetry made him one of the principal voices for the Black Experience in America in the 1970s. His social and political stances, often set to blues, jazz and soul music, would foretell the hip hop work of artists like Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions and Tupac Shakur, among others.

LL Cool J

Category: Musical Excellence

Eligible since: 2010

Nominations: 6

Essential listening: “Radio” (1995)

Presenter: Dre. Dre*

Why he’s getting in: LL Cool J was the first solo star of rap’s modern era. Together with producer Rick Rubin, he helped shape the sound of new-school hip hop. Later in his career, LL would establish battle rap as an artform and branch out into acting and hosting, making him a pop culture icon.

***Multiple news outlets have reported that Dr. Dre will induct LL Cool J into the Rock Hall. However, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has yet to confirm.

Billy Preston

Category: Musical Excellence

Eligible since: 1988

Essential listening: “The Kids & Me” (1974)

Presenter: TBA

Why he’s getting in: Considering the Award for Musical Excellence used to be the “sidemen” category, it’s fitting Preston earn his induction in such a manner. Not only did Preston have a successful solo career with multiple No. 1 hits. But he also played on essential recordings for Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, The Everly Brothers, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In fact, Preston is one of only five musicians credited on a Beatles recording that wasn’t named Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison or Ringo Starr.

Randy Rhoads

Category: Musical Excellence

Essential listening: “Blizzard of Ozz” (Ozzy Osbourne)

Presenter: TBA

Why he’s getting in: Roads never released a solo album. But his work with Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne speaks for itself. Rhoads was one of the most skilled guitarists in heavy metal history, influencing a countless number of musicians.

Clarence Avant

Category: Ahmet Ertegun Award

Why he’s getting in: The Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers has long been given to a figure whose exploits in the music industry contributed to the evolution of rock and roll. Avant fits the bill. Known as “The Black Godfather,” Avant has helped guide the careers of several legendary artists, producers and industry professionals while leaving his mark as a label owner, concert promoter, manager and film producer.

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