It was a historic induction!
Jay Z, Tina Turner, & LL Cool J were all inducted into the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Blavity reports.
In February, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its most diverse list of inductees thus far, 8 of the 16 inductees being Black artists. The nominees included Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Tina Turner, Rage Against The Machine, Chaka Khan, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, and Dionne Warwick, a voter pool and fans ultimately choosing the winners. This past May, the 2021 inductees were announced, Jay Z was selected during his first year of eligibility, Tina Turner made history as the second woman to enter the Hall of Fame twice; her first time being alongside Ike Turner, and LL Cool J finally got his flowers after being nominated six times.
This past weekend, the 36th Hall of Fame ceremony took place, and it was a night to remember. Jay-Z’s introduction video included Beyonce, LeBron James, Chris Rock, Sean Combs, and Samuel L. Jackson. Then congratulatory remarks were aired in a pre-recorded message from none other than Forever President Barack Obama.
“I’ve turned to Jay-Z’s words at different points in my life, whether I was brushing dirt off my shoulder on the campaign trail or sampling his lyrics on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 50th anniversary of the Selma march to Montgomery. Today, Jay-Z is one of the most renowned artists in history and an embodiment of the American dream, a dream he has helped make real for other young people like him,” Obama said.
“Shout-out to Dame Dash… Shout-out to Biggs”#RockHall2021
— JAY-Z Daily (@JAY_Z_Daily) October 31, 2021advertisement
Comedian Dave Chappelle then delivered the formal induction speech.
“It is an incredible honor to induct this next man into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But I need everybody in rock ‘n’ roll to know that even though you are honoring him, he is ours. He is hip-hop. Forever and ever and a day,” Chappelle said.
Longer version because the first time didn’t upload?! #Beyonce #Rihanna #BarackObama #LebronJames and more tribute to #JayZ at the #RockAndRollHallofFameInduction #RockHall2021 #rockhallinduction @wkyc pic.twitter.com/JEBcpEjEEq
— Hope Sloop (@Hopesloop) October 31, 2021advertisement
Jay-Z acknowledged fellow inductee LL Cool J in his acceptance speech, saying he looked up to artists like him when he was older. He also acknowledged his mother and Roc-A-Fella Records co-founders Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke. After the ceremony was over, he took to Twitter to pay homage to JAZ-O, a Brooklyn artist who was one of the foundational inspirations for his career.
“In my excitement, I failed to prize, and acknowledge, JAZ-O; he was the hometown hero that made the dream tangible. Thank you, good man…ok, let me lose this password for another year or so. Thank you all again, incredibly humbled by your love,” he tweeted.
Tina Turner was unable to attend the ceremony in person but sent a video speech from Switzerland.
“If they’re still giving me awards at 81, I must have done something right,” Turner said.
She was inducted by actress Angela Bassett who famously played Turner in the film “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”
“Now let us remember Tina is already a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame from her earlier work with Ike Turner. However, what brings us here tonight is Tina’s journey to independence. For Tina, hope triumphed over hate. Faith won over fear. And ambition eclipsed adversity,” Bassett said.
LL Cool J was also honored for his contributions and legacy, joined by Eminem and Jennifer Lopez, performing hits such as “All I Have” and “Mama Said Knock You Out.” Music mogul Dr. Dre formally inducted him. This was the rapper’s sixth time being nominated, and he showed immense gratitude to all those who supported his induction.
“What people don’t realize is, I wasn’t thinking about the people who voted against me. I was thinking about the people who voted for me. It was love. Like what I was feeling was, ‘Wow, here’s some people over there who won’t take no for an answer.’ They like, ‘Yo this guy got to be in here, and we’re going to keep fighting for you till we get him in here.’ So I thank you,” he said.
Blues musicians Charley Patton and poet Gil Scott-Heron posthumously received the Early Influence Award, with musician Billy Preston being honored in the Musical Excellence Award category.
90-year-old music executive Clarence Avant, also known as The Black Godfather, was also honored, receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award, honoring industry professionals who, through their support of artists, have had a significant influence on rock and roll and music in general.
John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, spoke about the significance of the 2021 inductees, saying, “This diverse class of talented inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture.”
Congratulations to the 2021 Class of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees!
Photo Courtesy of Yahoo Money