On Saturday, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, and Tina Turner were among the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, NPR reported. Other inductees include Gil Scott-Heron, Billy Preston, Clarence Avant, Carole King Todd Rundgren, and others.
Former President Barack Obama congratulated JAY-Z via video conference.
“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,” according to footage of Obama’s speech posted to social media. “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.”
“So let me be one of the first to welcome home the kid from Marcy houses … as an official Rock and Roll Hall of Famer,” he continued.
Dave Chappelle, who has been embroiled in controversy after being accused of transphobia in his latest Netflix special, also gave a speech in honor of Jay-Z as well.
“I’m honored that I got a chance to know you,” Chappelle said, according to a transcript posted by Rolling Stone. “You embody Black excellence; how great we can be.”
In his 10-minute acceptance speech, Jay-Z mentioned Rakim, Public Enemy, and Big Daddy Kane as some of his influences.
“[We] were told hip-hop was a fad,” Jay-Z said in his acceptance speech. “Much like punk rock, it gave us this anti-culture, this subgenre. And there were heroes in it.”
In a rare tweet, Jay-Z expressed his gratitude after his induction.
“Thank you to everyone in that video package. I’m definitely gonna cry in the car,” he tweeted.
LL Cool J, who received the “Musical Excellence Award” from Dr. Dre, performed a medley of some of his biggest hits and was joined on stage by Eminem and Jennifer Lopez. Eminem gave a rendition of LL Cool J’s song “Rock the Bells” and Lopez took the stage to perform their duet on her No. 1 single “All I Have.”
Angela Bassett, who gave an Oscar-nominated performance in What’s Love Got To Do It, gave a speech in honor of Tina Turner, who was not in attendance, Cleveland.com reports.
“What brings us here tonight is Tina’s journey to independence,” Bassett said. “People still regularly tell me how much Tina meant to them. I know exactly what they mean because she has meant so much to me. I too am one of those people blessed by Tina’s gift to inspire.”
In a pre-recorded message, Turner, who has been struggling with her health, accepted the honor.
“I must have done something right,” she said. “I’m very happy to have this and to have achieved this. It’s great. Thank you.”
The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame airs on HBO on Saturday, November 20, 8:00 PM ET.