By Lyndsey Parker, Yahoo Music | The inductees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 were announced Wednesday morning, and this is the most woman-heavy and diverse class in Rock Hall history, with many fans celebrating several long-overdue accolades.
“This diverse class of talented Inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture,” John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said in a statement Wednesday. “It will make for an unforgettable live celebration of music in October at this year’s Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.”
Among this year’s six artists recognized in the Performer category are the Go-Go’s, 40 years after the release of their landmark debut Beauty and the Beat. Controversially, the Go-Go’s had never been nominated before, despite making history when Beauty and the Beat became the first — and to date, still only — album by an all-female band that wrote all their songs and played all their instrument to go to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The group’s longtime snubbing was addressed in their 2020 self-titled documentary, with frontwoman Belinda Carlisle speculating that they’d been blacklisted because they once complained to Hall co-founder and Rolling Stone magnate Jann Wenner about their sexist Rolling Stone cover. Wenner stepped down as Hall chairman and was replaced by MTV co-founder Sykes in 2020 — a development that industry pundits presumed would lead to more diverse future ballots.
The Class of 2021’s other two female inductees are Tina Turner (who won this year’s fan vote) and Carole King, both of whom were already in the Hall, but — bafflingly — only as co-inductees in conjunction with their respective ex-husbands, Ike Turner and Gerry Goffin. This now makes Tina Turner and Carole King only the second and third female artists to enter the Hall twice (following the Class of 2019’s Stevie Nicks), compared to the 23 male artists who are multiple inductees.
Joining the Go-Go’s, Turner, and King in the Hall is prog/powerpop songwriter and producer Todd Rundgren, on his third try, as well as alt-rock band the Foo Fighters and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, the only two Class of 2021 inductees to appear on the ballot in their first year of eligibility. (Each nominee’s first single or album had to have been released in 1995 or earlier.) The Foos’ entry also makes frontman Dave Grohl a double-inductee, as he was inducted with Nirvana when they too got in during their first year of eligibility, in 2014.
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The 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place Oct. 30 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, and will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max at a later date.