Rock & Roll Hall of Fame welcomes new inductees from diverse genres

Rock Roll Hall

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrated its 38th annual induction ceremony on Friday night at the Barclays Center in New York City, honoring a diverse and influential group of artists from various genres of music. Among the inductees were Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, George Michael, Kate Bush, Chaka Khan, and more.

Rock Roll Hall

Willie Nelson brings the country to the hall

The legendary country singer-songwriter Willie Nelson, who turned 90 last week, was inducted into the hall by his longtime friend and collaborator Dave Matthews, who praised Nelson for his “unmatched” storytelling and “unmistakable” voice. Matthews also performed an acoustic rendition of Nelson’s classic song “Funny How Time Slips Away”.

Nelson then joined the stage with Sheryl Crow and Chris Stapleton, two of his many admirers and collaborators, to perform some of his hits, including “Whiskey River”, “Crazy”, and “On the Road Again”. The audience gave Nelson a standing ovation for his contribution to the history of rock and roll.

Sheryl Crow rocks the crowd with Olivia Rodrigo and Stevie Nicks

Sheryl Crow, who was inducted by her friend and fellow actress Laura Dern, showed her versatility and charisma as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, as she performed some of her most popular songs with young and old stars alike. She teamed up with Olivia Rodrigo, the breakout pop star of 2023, to sing “If It Makes You Happy”, and then invited Stevie Nicks, the rock icon and previous inductee, to join her for “Strong Enough”. Peter Frampton also made a surprise appearance to help Crow sing “Everyday Is a Winding Road”.

Crow thanked her parents for their unconditional love and piano lessons, and called music a “universal gift”. She also acknowledged the challenges she faced as a female artist in the male-dominated music industry, and said she was proud to be part of a generation of women who “mapped out the chapters of our lives”.

Missy Elliott makes history as the first female hip-hop artist in the hall

Missy Elliott, the groundbreaking rapper, producer, and songwriter, became the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, following the footsteps of previous male inductees such as Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, and Tupac Shakur. She was introduced by Queen Latifah, who praised Elliott for her “true pathbreaking” in a genre that often marginalized women and LGBTQIA+ artists.

Elliott delivered a powerful and emotional speech, thanking God, her family, her fans, and her collaborators, such as Timbaland, Aaliyah, and Pharrell Williams. She also dedicated her award to the late hip-hop pioneers DMX and Biz Markie, who passed away earlier this year. She said she was honored to represent hip-hop and inspire the next generation of artists.

George Michael honored by his Wham! partner and Carrie Underwood

George Michael, the pop superstar who rose to fame as a member of Wham! and then became a successful solo artist, was inducted into the hall posthumously, as he died in 2016 at the age of 53. His former Wham! partner, Andrew Ridgeley, gave a touching tribute to Michael, recalling their friendship and musical journey together. He said Michael was a “brilliant songwriter” and a “generous soul” who touched millions of lives with his music and activism.

Carrie Underwood, the country star and American Idol winner, performed a stunning rendition of Michael’s hit song “Freedom! ’90”, which was also featured in the recent documentary film about his life and career. Underwood said she was a huge fan of Michael and his music, and that he paved the way for many proud LGBTQIA+ artists.

Kate Bush celebrated by St. Vincent and Elton John

Kate Bush, the British singer-songwriter and producer, who is known for her innovative and experimental music, was inducted into the hall by St. Vincent, who is also a fan and a fellow artist. St. Vincent said Bush was a “visionary” and a “trailblazer” who used “lush soundscapes, radical experimentation, literary themes, sampling and theatricality” to captivate audiences and inspire countless musicians. She also performed a cover of Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)”, which gained a new wave of popularity after being featured in the show Stranger Things.

Bush, who did not attend the ceremony, sent a video message, thanking the hall and her fans for their support and recognition. She also thanked her collaborators and mentors, such as David Gilmour, Peter Gabriel, and Prince. She said she was “deeply honored” to be inducted into the hall, and that she hoped to continue making music that “moves people”.

Chaka Khan brings the funk and soul to the hall

Chaka Khan, the Queen of Funk and the lead singer of the band Rufus, was inducted into the hall by H.E.R., who is also a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. H.E.R. said Khan was a “legend” and a “force of nature” who influenced many genres of music, such as funk, soul, R&B, pop, rock, and hip-hop. She also joined Khan on stage, along with Sia and Common, to perform a medley of Khan’s funky hits, such as “I Feel For You”, “Ain’t Nobody”, “Sweet Thing”, and “I’m Every Woman”.

Khan thanked the hall and her fans for their love and appreciation, and also called up Tony Maiden, the guitarist of Rufus, to share the spotlight with her. She said without him and the band, she would not be here today. She also thanked her family, her friends, and her musical heroes, such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye.

Other inductees and performers

The ceremony also honored other inductees, such as the Spinners, the soul group that had many hits in the 1970s, Rage Against the Machine, the political rock band that fused rap and metal, DJ Kool Herc, the pioneer of hip-hop culture, Link Wray, the influential rock guitarist, Al Kooper, the musician and producer who worked with Bob Dylan and others, and Bernie Taupin, the longtime co-songwriter of Elton John.

The ceremony also featured performances by New Edition, Ice-T, LL Cool J, Miguel, and Elton John, who came out of retirement to perform and toast his songwriting partner Taupin. John said Taupin was his “brother” and his “soulmate”, and that they had written over 500 songs together.

The ceremony was streamed live for the first time on Disney+, and will be broadcasted on HBO on Nov. 11.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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