On Nov. 3, 11 musical acts, one hit-generating songwriter and Don Cornelius, the creator-host — from 1971 to 1993 — of groundbreaking syndicated Black music showcase Soul Train, will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
This year’s list of honorees includes a crop of legendary performers: British art-pop legend Kate Bush, hip-hop trailblazer Missy Elliott, late megastar George Michael, pop-rock hitmaker Sheryl Crow, outlaw country icon Willie Nelson, rap-rock firebreathers Rage Against the Machine and smooth soul group The Spinners.
Elsewhere, two individuals are set to be inducted under the “musical influence” category, including “Father of Hip-Hop” DJ Kool Herc and guitar pioneer Link Wray; while the “musical excellence award” will be given to three others: funk idol Chaka Khan, veteran studio musician Al Kooper and longtime Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin.
Notably, four of the seven performers are being inducted on their first nomination: Crow, Elliott, Michael and Nelson. Among those, Elliott was the only artist eligible for the first time in 2023.
While the achievements of many of the above-named inductees — performers like Elliott, Michael, Crow, Nelson, Rage and Khan — are well-known to many, others on the list require more of an introduction. Below, we’ve compiled quick facts on each of the honorees, from the trails they’ve blazed in the industry to the hit songs that shot them to fame and fortune.
Below, a look at their musical milestones and chart achievements.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday (Nov. 3). Viewers can watch the event live on Disney+ starting at 8 p.m. ET.
In 2022, Bush scored her greatest Billboard Hot 100 success when “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” reached No. 3, spurred by its synch in the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things. The song reached No. 30 during its original 1985 run.
Elliott became the first female rapper with three No. 1s on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, with Supa Dupa Fly (1997), Da Real World (1999) and Miss E… So Addictive (2001).
DJ Kool Herc
Fifty years after Herc’s historic party in the Bronx, where he set hip-hop in motion, the genre has gone global and reshaped popular music. According to Luminate, R&B/hip-hop accounted for nearly 27% of all U.S. music consumption in 2022 — more than any other genre.
Between Khan’s work with funk bank Rufus and her solo material, the legendary vocalist scored 58 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart between 1973 and 2008. From her early days, she proved a consistent commercial force, landing a top 10 on the chart each year from 1973 to 1984.
In July 2020, 87-year-old Nelson became the first artist to score top 10s in every decade — seven in all — on the Top Country Albums chart since its launch in January 1964. His 70th solo album, 2020’s First Rose of Spring, was his 53rd top 10 on the chart.
Rage Against the Machine
The Michigan R&B hit-makers boast a 34-year span of hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, from their 1961 debut, “That’s What Girls Are Made For,” to a featured credit on Rappin 4-Tay’s “I’ll Be Around” in 1995. In that time, they racked up 19 top 10 hits, including six No. 1s.
One of rock music’s guitar innovators, particularly with the 1958 instrumental “Rumble,” Wray reached the Hot 100 three times, led by the No. 23 peak of “Raw-Hide” in 1959.
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