CLEAVLAND – Like many awards ceremonies during the pandemic, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hosted a virtual induction ceremony in 2020. On Saturday night at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, home to the organization’s museum, the event resumed with a powerful cast to praise its 36th annual course: former US President Taylor Swift and the Beatle.
The video intro for Jay-Z, which paraded the New York rapper, opened with a tribute to Barack Obama. “I’ve looked to Jay-Z’s words at various points in my life, whether it’s shaking the dirt off my shoulder during the campaign or listening to him on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 50th anniversary of Selma’s march on Montgomery,” said Obama, speaking in the package together with Beyoncé, Chris Rock and LeBron James.
Comedian Dave Chappel, who officially introduced Jay-Z to the arena, began by saying, “I would like to apologize …” – an obvious reference to the controversy surrounding his recent Netflix special “Closer,” before dwelling on the topic. close at hand: Jay-Z’s timeless sense of calm and how he has stayed true to his community for decades.
“When he said it was Jay every day. When he told us he would never change. You heard that and probably, as a white person, said, “Well, maybe this guy should focus on his development,” Chappel said. “But we heard that he will never forget us. He will always remember us. And we are his landmark. That he will show us how far we can go if we just seize the opportunity. “
Dressed in a tuxedo, Jay-Z, who did not perform, followed by an adorable, sometimes twisty 10-minute speech in which he mentioned the mentors and colleagues who directed him: LL Cool J (who received an award for musical excellence on Saturday after he did not vote for his sixth nomination), KRS-One, Rakim and Chuck Dee, among others. “As a kid, we didn’t think we could get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Jay-Z said. “We were told that hip-hop is fashion. Like punk rock, it gave us this anticulture, this subgenre, and it had its own heroes. ” Hopefully, he added at the end of his speech, he shows “to the next generation that anything is possible.”
Jay-Z has joined one of Rock Hall’s most diverse recent classes: Carol King, singer-songwriter, who was honored for organization in 1990 with her songwriting partner and ex-husband Jerry Goffin; the rockers Foo Fighters, whose frontman, Dave Grohl, attributed the band’s longevity to family ties; indefatigable, powerful singer Tina Turner, finally taking over as a solo artist after joining Ike and Tina Turner in 1991; 1980s power-pop band Go-Go’s, hailed by the sound of “pure opportunity” in a welcoming introduction by Drew Barrymore; and classic rock writer Todd Rundgren, who recently told TMZ that he “never cared much about the Hall of Fame” and stayed true to his word by skipping the event to perform a solo set in Cincinnati. HBO will unveil highlights from the ceremony on November 20.
Jay-Z’s speech, filled with thoughts and memories, well demonstrated how, despite a multitude of distinguished personalities packed into one of Cleveland’s largest venues, the event often focused on more intimate moments.
Swift helped set a more personal tone by recalling in her opening speech to King how, at age 7, she danced around the house in socks, listening to the musician’s tapes. “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know Carol King’s music,” said Swift, who went on to describe the seemingly magical way King’s songs could be presented to an outsider – parent, brother or sister, lover – just for that to become an integral part of a person’s own inner world.
Swift embodied this idea in her opening performance, skipping the song “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” which Swift reinvented as a softly pulsing synth-pop ballad that wouldn’t seem out of place in her own discography. King, who could be seen on a screen in the audience wiping away tears as Swift finished the song, thanked the pop star for “carrying the torch forward” in her own speech.
“I keep hearing it, so I think I’ll have to try to admit it that today’s singers and songwriters are on my shoulders,” said King, who was quick to draw attention to her own ancestors. “Don’t forget that they also stand on the shoulders of the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. May she rest in power, Miss Aretha Franklin! “
In his speech for the Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney jokingly pointed out how Dave Grohl followed in his footsteps. According to McCartney, both were passionate about music at a young age, joining popular bands that ended prematurely. Both recovered, recording albums and playing all the musical parts (Grohl with the Foo Fighters’ self-titled debut in 1995; McCartney with his 1970 solo album). “Do you think this guy is stalking me?” The Beatle broke down.
On stage, Grohl, who was born about 60 miles east of Rock Hall in Warren, Ohio, praised the influence of the Beatles and McCartney in particular, calling him “my music teacher.” After the Foo Fighters sang a trio of battle-tested rock songs – “The Best of You,” “My Hero,” and “Everlong” – McCartney repaid the favor by joining the band for a galloping Beatles cover of “Get Back.” … “
In other appearances by HER, Christina Aguilera, Mickey Guyton, and Keith Urban teamed up to pay tribute to Tina Turner, who was not present at the event. During the memorization, Brandy Carlisle joined her bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth for a low-key performance of the Everly Brothers song “All I Have to Do Is Dream” in honor of Don Everly, who died in August.
The Go-Go captures the sunny, derisive relevance of their 1981 debut album Beauty and the Beat, the girl group’s first and only album to hit # 1 on the Billboard charts, opening with “Vacation.” “And ending with a jerky, heavy bass” We Got the Beat “.
In her 2019 opening speech, Janet Jackson spoke about the well-documented gender imbalance at Rock Hall, asking voters to “please bring in more women.” Go-Go bassist Katie Valentine echoed these comments during the band’s stage performance.
Valentine thanked Rock Hall for the success, but she also pushed the organization to do more. “Thanks to our historic contribution, the doors of this establishment have opened wider,” she said. “Because here’s the thing, there wouldn’t be less of us if there were more of us.”