CLEVELAND — Rock 'n' roll royalty descended upon Cleveland on Saturday for the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
It was a star-studded evening, with music legends of all stripes descending upon Northeast Ohio for the occasion. Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris called this year's crop of inductees "the most diverse class we've ever had."
Check out our time-stamped updates that showcased every moment of the induction ceremony as the music event unfolded Saturday night into Sunday morning, including coverage from backstage at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse as well as the red carpet prior to the festivities.
12:33 a.m. - That will do it for the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony!
12:27 a.m. - Foo Fighters are back on stage performing with Paul McCartney for a rendition of the Beatles classic song "Get Back."
12:15 a.m. - After a powerful performance, it's time for Foo Fighters to speak. In Taylor Hawkins’ acceptance speech he said he’d like to see George Michael and Soundgarden get inducted into the Rock Hall soon.
Dave Grohl got a standing ovation before he spoke one word of his acceptance speech then said “What’s up, Ohio, I was born here!!” (He was born in Warren.) Grohl said usually he is known for just saying “Blah, blah, blah, rock and roll, rock and roll, blah, blah, blah.” But tonight Grohl said he wants to thank people and fans who have hung out with them for 26 years.
12:05 a.m. - Foo Fighers have taken the stage and have the crowd on its feet while they belt out “The Best Of You" "Hero," and “Everlong.”
11:51 p.m. - Sir Paul McCartney is here! The two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is inducting Foo Fighters. Fun fact: Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters is now a two-time inductee after previously going in with Nirvana.
McCartney laid out a lot of similarities between he and Grohl during his speech. He noted that both of them were in iconic bands, then moved on to form their own successful follow-up groups. Sir Paul says he told Dave that 'you aren’t getting into any old Hall of Fame. This is the f@!king Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!'
11:30 p.m. - Jay-Z is on stage. He took just a moment before starting his speech, then said, “You’re trying to make me cry in front of all these white people!”
Jay-Z said he was told early on that hip-hop was a fad.” He said that hip-hop heroes have been coming to his mind tonight. “I would watch these guys with thick chains and leather and I wanted to be just like them.” Jay-Z said he thinks back to some of his original work – and he said it was trash. Early on, many record producers would tell him his early work was trash. But he said he knew they were wrong so he kept going. He knew hip-hop was something. Jay-Z said influencers like LL Cool J showed younger artists that you can be vulnerable and show emotion. Chuck D gave them social commentary.
Jay-Z said when President Obama asked him to help him campaign, he knew hip-hop was here to stay.
11:20 p.m. - Controversial comedian (and Ohio resident) Dave Chappelle is here to induct Jay-Z. He said he could talk about all of Jay-Z’s accomplishments, but he wanted to talk about what Jay-Z means to his culture. Chapelle said Jay-Z rhymed a recipe for survival and that he embodies what success can be.
Chappelle added that Jay-Z recently said to him “You must be under a lot of pressure to always say something funny.” Chapelle said “Well, you must always be under pressure to say cool things.” Jay-Z said “Nah, I just do.”
11:15 p.m. - It's time for Jay-Z to be inducted. Former President Barack Obama leads off the tribute to the hip-hop legend in a video. Also appearing were Akron native LeBron James, Beyonce', David Letterman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rhianna, Ed Sheeran, and more.
11:13 p.m. - In tribute to the Everly Brothers, Brandi Carlile is being joined by Phil and Tim Hanseroth for a performance of "Dream."
11:09 p.m. - The ceremony is now paying tribute to the artists who have passed away in the past year in the "In Memoriam" portion of the evening. Among those recognized were Cleveland's own Michael Stanley, DMX, Biz Markie, ZZ Top's Dusty Hill, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Don Everly.
1:03 p.m. - The final inductee in the Early Influencer category is Gil Scott-Heron. Scott-Heron was a soul and jazz poet, musician, and author. He was best known for his work as a spoken-word performer in the 1970s and 1980s.
10:48 p.m. - The set for the Go-Go's wraps up with "We Got the Beat."
10:44 p.m. - The hits keep coming from the Go-Go's! "Our Lips Are Sealed" is the next song in their set.
10:40 p.m. - The Go-Go's are on stage performing. Their first song is "Vacation."
10:26 p.m. - Actress Drew Barrymore is on stage now to induct The Go-Go's. Barrymore who was a true 80’s girl, was an enthusiastic inductor for the band. Barrymore made her favorite album cover come to life by transitioning into bath towels and cold cream during her induction speech which she called a true blue love letter to her favorite band.
10:15 p.m. - The promise for the night was an incredibly diverse induction class. Kraftwerk, a German band that invented a genre unlike any other, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as an influencer. So many 70’s and 80’s bands and beyond adopted their sounds including Depeche Mode, Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, The Human League, and Soft Cell.
10:10 p.m. - Gary Clark Jr. is on stage to pay tribute to Early Influencer inducee Charley Patton
10:06 p.m. - Angela Bassett made a brief appearance backstage. She spoke about how honored she was to once again represent Tina Tuner, years after playing her in the film "What's Love Got To Do With It?"
10:05 p.m. - Patti Smith is inducting Todd Rundgren into the Rock Hall via video. During the video tribute, Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates said you never knew what Todd Rundgren was going to do as an artist. The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs said each song of Rundgren’s is a gift. Rundgren did not attend the ceremony tonight, but at the end of the video was a clip of Rundgren’s 2017 Berklee Commencement Address.
During the speech, Rundgren said he’s glad he’s never been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can watch the whole speech below.
Four years later… Rundgren opted not to attend the ceremony, nor did he provide a video accepting his award.
'I've never cared much about the Hall of Fame,' Rundgren said during a virtual interview with TMZ earlier this week.
9:55 p.m. - Meanwhile on stage, Lionel Richie inducted Clarence Avant for the Ahmet Ertegun Award. Richie said Avant, who goes by the name “The Black Godfather” touched countless careers and made everyone better. The 90-year-old music executive got a standing ovation moments before his induction.
9:51 p.m. - LL Cool J. appears backstage and talked about the importance of hip hop in his life. "It changed our lives. It gave us the opportunity to express ourselves."
9:42 p.m. - It's Christina Aguilera's turn to rock as she delivers a powerful rendition of "River Deep, Mountain High."
9:38 p.m. - Next up is Mickey Guyton to perform “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”
9:34 p.m. - Keith Urban kicks off the performance tributes to Tina Turner as he performs "It's Only Love" with H.E.R. This was a song that was a hit for Turner in a duet with Bryan Adams.
9:32 p.m. - Tina Turner, who lives overseas in Switzerland, accepts her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction via video.
9:25 p.m. - Check out our photo gallery featuring highlights of performances and speeches.
Photos: 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland
9:18 p.m. - Actress Angela Bassett is now on stage to induct Tina Turner. Bassett portrayed Turner in the 1993 film "What's Love Got To Do With It?" and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance.
Bassett said Turner inspires younger artists and has sold more than 200 million records. Bassett said like Turner, “I too, had dreams far beyond what the world expected for me.”
She said for Turner, ambition always rose above adversity.
Bassett said “Tina, welcome on your own, to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.” Turner is already in the Rock Hall of Fame with her earlier work with Ike Turner.
9:13 p.m. - Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello is inducting guitarist Randy Rhoads into the Rock Hall in the Musical Excellence category. Rhoads played with Ozzy Osbourne, including the iconic guitar solo on the song "Crazy Train." He died in a plane crash while on tour with Osbourne in Florida in 1982.
8:58 p.m. - While LL Cool J performs on stage, Carole King is backstage meeting with the media. She posed for pictures with Jennifer Hudson and talked about the joy of hearing Taylor Swift perform her song "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"
Make sure you check out our photos from backstage at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Photos: Backstage at the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland
8:55 p.m. - LL Cool J performed “Rock The Bells” with Eminem which was mind-blowing enough, but when Eminem left the stage, Jennifer Lopez came out for a powerful duet. JLo left the stage then about two dozen background dancers came to the stage for a big, bold “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
8:41 p.m. - Dr. Dre takes the stage at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to induct LL Cool J, who is also going in to the Rock Hall in the Musical Excellence category. Dre says “LL” must stand for Living Legend (it actually stands for “Ladies Love.”) Dre says LL has a wide range of work including the brutal “Mama Said Knock You Out” to a softer side on display in his song “I Need Love.” Dre said LL always pushes the boundaries. He’s an author, actor, coined the phrase ‘G.O.A.T’ and is a Kennedy Center honoree.
8:35 p.m. - Ringo Starr appears via video to induct Billy Preston in the category of Musical Excellence. Preston played with The Beatles on "Get Back" and also appeared on some of their solo works as well. In addition, Preston backed such artists as Ray Charles and The Rolling Stones. He went from session musician to accomplished solo artist starting in the 1970s and had hits such as "Outa-Space," "Will It Go Round in Circles," "Nothing from Nothing," and "With You I'm Born Again." Preston died in 2006 at the age of 60.
8:31 p.m. - It's King's turn to perform as she heads to the piano to perform her legendary song, "You've Got A Friend." Halfway through, King invited the crowd to sing along for an early goosebumps moment. Among the artists who made the song famous was James Taylor, who sent a message to King via Twitter prior to tonight's ceremony.
8:24 p.m. - Carole King introduces Jennifer Hudson during her speech to perform King's iconic "Natural Woman," made famous by Aretha Franklin. Hudson portrays Franklin in the 2021 film "Respect." King and Hudson also collaborated on a new song for the movie. Hudson's performance of "Natural Woman" was flawless.
8:17 p.m. - Taylor Swift said Carole King is the greatest singer/songwriter of all time. Swift mentioned a funny story that her dad was dating someone in college who he apparently didn’t care for anymore. When the girl asked her dad what song made him think of her, her dad told his then-girlfriend, “Carole King’s ‘It’s Too Late’.” They broke up soon thereafter, which Taylor said she was grateful for or she wouldn’t be here tonight.
8:13 p.m. - Among those paying tribute to King in her induction video is actor Tom Hanks, who proclaimed "Thank God for Carole King." Swift is now back on stage to induct King.
8:00 p.m. - We are underway. Taylor Swift is our leadoff performer as she begins by singing Carole King's iconic "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" That will lead us into King's induction.
7:50 p.m. - Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris welcomed the already-raucous crowd, saying the Hall of Fame has never been stronger, never looked better. Harris says he is excited about the Rock Hall’s upcoming expansion plans. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation chairman John Sykes followed and said he has always wanted to say “Hello, Cleveland!” to a crowd. Sykes took over from Jann Wenner who guided the Rock Hall Foundation since its inception. "Rock and roll was created as the sound for young America," Sykes told the audience.
BEFORE THE CEREMONY
7:35 p.m. - We are just about 25 minutes away from the start of the induction ceremony. Singer Brandi Carlile (no relation to Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Go's) stopped by the media room. Carlile is one of the artists scheduled to perform tonight.
Carlile did say she had a chance to meet Carlisle on Friday.
7:05 p.m. - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame CEO Greg Harris and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation Chairman John Sykes addressed the media backstage. Among the highlights of their conversation was that the Foundation is interested in continuing to hold the induction ceremony in the fall.
The stars began to arrive on Saturday evening at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse as the red carpet was rolled out. We streamed live coverage of the festivities. You can watch the video below.
We also have a photo gallery from tonight's red carpet.
PHOTOS: 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction red carpet in Cleveland
There are 13 fresh inductees joining rock 'n' roll's hallowed halls with the class of 2021. This group features several two-time inductees, including Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, previously inducted with Nirvana in 2014), Carole King (previously inducted with Gerry Goffin in 1990) and Tina Turner (previously inducted with Ike and Tina Turner in 1991). CLICK HERE to read in-depth bios of all 13 inductees.
Here's the 2021 list broken down by induction category...
- Foo Fighters
- The Go-Go’s
- Carole King
- Todd Rundgren
- Tina Turner
AHMET ERTEGUN AWARD
- Clarence Avant
MUSICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
- LL Cool J
- Billy Preston
- Randy Rhoads
EARLY INFLUENCE AWARD
- Gil Scott-Heron
- Charley Patton
If you're hoping to watch the ceremony on TV, you'll have to wait until 8 p.m. on Nov. 20 when it airs on HBO and streams on HBO Max. A simulcast will also be available that same night on SiriusXM Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio (channel 310) and Volume (channel 106).