This marks the first time ever that three female or female-led acts are being inducted as performers in a single year, and that’s not the only milestone involving women that these inductions represent, as Rock Hall Vice President of Education Jason Hanley explains.
“The Go-Go’s are the first inductee that’s an all-female band where they played their own instruments,” Hanley explains, noting, “This is a rock ‘n’ roll band. I mean, The Go-Go’s started as a punk-rock band. They ended up being one of the big new wave bands and…MTV bands.”
As for Turner and King, both of them join Stevie Nicks as the only women ever to be inducted into the Rock Hall twice.
“Carole King who’s getting inducted here for her solo work, had previously been inducted with [her late ex-husband] Gerry Goffin as a songwriter,” Hanley explains. “Tina Turner…had previously been inducted…for her work in the Ike and Tina Turner band.”
Hanley adds about this year’s female inductees, “I think it’s really important, not just that these are women, but [that they] innovated and really did change rock ‘n’ roll, and [brought] something incredibly new to it.”
Meanwhile, Hanley notes that Rundgren’s work as both a musician and a producer makes him a worthy inductee.
“He never did one thing twice,” he says. “He always innovated something new each album.”
Besides the Performer category honorees, several other artists are also being inducted in conjunction with receiving special Rock Hall awards. For example, three artists will be honored with the Musical Excellence Award: R&B artist and Beatles and Rolling Stones session keyboardist Billy Preston, rapper LL Cool J and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads.
Additionally, electronic pioneers Kraftwerk are being recognized with the Early Influence Award, along with blues legend Charley Patton and soul musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron, while music executive Clarence Avant will be given the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place October 30 in Cleveland.
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