A new batch of icons, including Missy Elliott and the late George Michael, will be honored by the glitterati of music on Friday as they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The remaining members of the 2023 class of inductees include country music legend Willie Nelson, R&B trio The Spinners, rock experimentalist Kate Bush, and heartland singer Sheryl Crow.
The Hall of Fame prizes for musical achievement will go to Chaka Khan, Al Kooper, and Bernie Taupin. While Link Wray and DJ Kool Herc will be honored as “influences,” Don Cornelius, the late originator of “Soul Train,” will be given a non-performer award.
The Cleveland-based Hall of Fame which surveyed more than 1,000 musicians, historians and industry members to choose the entrants will honor the acts in a star-studded gala concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
For some time now the institution has defined “rock” less in terms of genre than of spirit, with a number of rap, pop, R&B and country stars included.
Hall of Fame Chairman John Sykes had previously emphasized that this year’s crop of musicians “reflects the diverse artists and sounds that define Rock & Roll” — and also noted it coincides with a milestone year that includes the 50th anniversary of the hip-hop genre and country icon Nelson’s 90th birthday.
Elliott is going to be the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. In her first year of eligibility, the rapper with the hits “Lose Control” and “Get Ur Freak On” made the cut.
25 years after their first commercial music release, artists are eligible for induction.
The distinction will be bestowed upon Elliott by fellow rapper Queen Latifah. Elliott described the recognition as “a blessing” during an appearance with ABC’s “Good Morning America” program.
It’s particularly poignant given hip-hop’s milestone anniversary, Elliott said: “No matter what people say, the hip-hop world is something special and unique.”