The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2021 was inducted in October - live in person at the museum grounds in Cleveland, Ohio after a virtual year in 2020 - and the highlights are now streaming on HBO and HBO Max! If you're looking for the scoop on the legends of the '80s that were honored this year, we've got you covered:
Carole King Brings the Joy
Already inducted as a songwriter with her former husband Gerry Goffin, Carole King was given a wonderful adulation as an influential performer. Taylor Swift kicked off the night with an arresting version of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and celebrated King in a moving, funny speech that lauded breakthrough album Tapestry as "a watershed moment for humans in the world who had feelings, and cats who dreamed of one day appearing on iconic album covers."
King's performance of "You've Got a Friend" in turn brought the audience to their feet; they took most of the last chorus to sing themselves!
Simply the Best: Tina Turner Enters the Rock Hall As a Soloist
If you’re a longtime Tina Turner fan, you likely already know she’s already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; but if you think she doesn’t deserve a spot in the Hall where her ex-husband Ike’s name isn’t attached to hers, then not only do we have some albums for you to revisit, but we also have a film for you to watch.
To celebrate Turner’s career during the induction ceremony, H.E.R. and Keith Urban teamed up to perform “It’s Only Love,” originally performed by Turner with Bryan Adams, while Mickey Guyton tackled Turner’s signature solo song, “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” but if we’re going to share one clip, then we’re gonna make it Christina Aguilera’s rendition of “River Deep, Mountain High,” which she knocks out of the park.
Angela Bassett, who portrayed Turner in the 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do with It, gave an appropriately monumental speech in the Queen of Rock's honor. "What brings us here tonight is Tina’s journey to independence," Bassett said. "For Tina, hope triumphed over hate. Fate won over fear. And ambition eclipsed adversity. In the words of the late Maya Angelou, 'You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise.' And Tina rose."
As you can surely tell from my beaming smile: I am thrilled to now be officially inducted into the @rockhall as a solo artist. What an honor! I am grateful to so many people who stood by me on my journey here – especially you, dear fans. Keep on rocking! 💃🏿 pic.twitter.com/LSD2PE6FBk— TinaTurner (@LoveTinaTurner) October 31, 2021
Any Club That Would Have Todd As a Member...
Todd Rundgren got into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - complete with a nice video speech from friend Patti Smith - but the singer/songwriter/producer/guitarist was well on the record for being sort of indifferent to the whole thing. (He was playing a show elsewhere in Ohio that night.) But we can't help but love the clips from Rundgren's Berklee College of Music commencement in 2017 the Hall used to ironically reflect on Rundgren's stance.
They Got the Beat: The Go-Go’s Enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
More than just a girl group, The Go-Go's helped break the door down for women in rock as the first (and only) all-woman group who took a self-produced, self-written album to the top of the charts (1981's Beauty and the Beat). The joyous speech from actress and superfan Drew Barrymore as well as the band's comments after playing a killer mini-set underline the gravity of the achievement.
"By recognizing our achievement, the Rock Hall celebrates possibility, the kind of possibility that creates hopeful dreamers," bassist Kathy Valentine said. "By honoring our historical contribution, the doors to this establishment have opened wider and The Go-Go’s will be advocating for the inclusion of more women. Women who have paved the way for us and others. Women who started bands, who sing and write songs, who excel on their instruments, who make and produce records. Because here is the thing: There would not be less of us if more of us were visible."
Dozens of Stars Paid Tribute to Jay--Z
Just as exciting as Jay-Z becoming the first rapper to be inducted to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility was one of the tributes paid to him. The Times and Life of Shawn Carter honored Hov through a Questlove-directed black and white short film featuring 40 of his peers, fans, friends and family weaving a poem with his iconic lyrics. Among the faces you'll see in the video are Diddy, Pharrell Williams, Jermaine Dupri, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Premier, Queen Latifah, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Rashida Jones, Halle Berry, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, LeBron James, David Letterman, Ed Sheeran, Tyler Perry, Lin-Manuel Miranda - and of course, Jay's family: mother Dr. Gloria Carter, wife Beyoncé and their daughter Blue Ivy.
Foo Fighters Bring It Home
The ceremony closed with another first-ballot induction: the mighty Foo Fighters. With Paul McCartney inducting them - and not-incorrectly comparing his post-Beatles journey to frontman Dave Grohl's after the tragic dissolution of Nirvana - it further legitimized them as one of the biggest rock bands around. Their performance didn't hurt that argument, either!