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Rock Hall Welcomes Diverse Class of 2021

Rock Hall 2021.JPG
Kabir Bhatia
An artist is eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after releasing their first record. Carole King was inducted for her songwriting work in 1990, and will be inducted again to recognize her solo work. Todd Rundgren and Billy Preston have been eligible for over 20 years, while Foo Fighters -- led by Warren native Dave Grohl -- were first eligible in 2020.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2021, which is being called the most diverse group of honorees in the hall's 35-year history.

The performers this year include rapper Jay-Z, being inducted in his first year of eligibility. He’ll be joined by Todd Rundgren and The Go-Gos, who have each been eligible for decades. In 1990, Carole King was inducted as a songwriter but will now also be recognized for her recording career. Similarly, Tina Turner was inducted 30 years ago as part of Ike & Tina Turner – and she now gets a solo induction as well. Rounding out this year's class is Foo Fighters, led by Dave Grohl. He was previously inducted as a member of Nirvana. This year’s ceremony takes place October 30 in Cleveland, the first time inductions are being held in-person since 2019.

On 'The Sound of Ideas' host Rick Jackson discusses this year's class with WCPN's Carrie Wise and David C. Barnett, WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz and Kabir Bhatia

In addition to the main class of performers, the Ahmet Ertegun Award goes to R&B Entrepreneur Clarence Avant.

The Musical Excellence Award will recognize rapper LL Cool J, heavy metal legend Randy Rhoads, and Billy Preston, who worked with The Beatles, Ray Charles, and had several hits of his own.

In the Early Influence category, the Hall welcomes electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, soul writer-performer Gil Scott-Heron, and blues musician Charley Patton.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.