Sheryl Crow and Chaka Khan make the crowd go wild at the 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony
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NEW YORK (AP) — Sheryl Crow and Chaka Khan made the crowd roar at the 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday night, with the Queen of Funk doing a medley of her hits including “Ain’t Nobody” and the Southern singer-songwriter knocking out an electric version of her “If It Makes You Happy” alongside Olivia Rodrigo.
Crow joined by Rodrigo — both in black — traded verses as they both played guitars. Stevie Nicks later joined Crow for a performance of “Strong Enough” and Peter Frampton came out to help sing “Everyday Is a Winding Road.”
“This is a little bit like getting an Oscar for a screenplay you have not finished writing,” Crow said. She thanked her parents for unconditional love “and piano lessons.” She called music a “universal gift.”
Fellow inductees Missy Elliott and Willie Nelson also were expected to be taking the mic. The ceremony in New York City is streaming live for the first time on Disney+.
Laura Dern inducted Crow, calling her friend “a badass goddess.” Dern said the music business initially had no idea what to do with a Southern female guitar-playing singer-songwriter. But it soon learned. “She mapped out the chapters of our lives,” Dern said.
Andrew Ridgeley honored his partner in Wham!, the late George Michael. “His music was key to his compassion,” Ridgeley said. “George is one of the greatest singers of our time.”
Michael attracted an intriguing trio of performers in his honor: Miguel, Carrie Underwood and Adam Levine, who performed a medley of “Careless Whisper,” “Faith” and “One More Try.”
Another posthumous inductee is “Soul Train” creator Don Cornelius.
Elton John was coming out of retirement to perform and toast his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.
The ceremony in Brooklyn will feature St. Vincent honoring Kate Bush, who is riding a new wave in popularity after the TV show “Stranger Things” featured her song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God).” Bush didn’t make it to Friday’s ceremony.
“I am completely blown away by this huge honour — an award that sits in the big beating heart of the American music industry,” she said in a statement. “Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. I never imagined I would be given this wonderful accolade.”
LL Cool J presented inductee DJ Kool Herc, called the Father of Hip-Hop. “Arguably, no one made a bigger contribution to hip-hop culture than DJ Kool Herc,” LL Cool J said and then turned to the older artist: “You lit the fire and it’s still blazing.” A visibly moved Herc was unable to speak for a few moments before thanking his parents, James Brown, Marcus Garvey and Harry Belafonte, among others.
Queen Latifah will present Elliott, who becomes the first female hip-hop artist in the rock hall. Elliott will then take the Barclay’s Center stage for a performance. The four-time Grammy Award-winner is also the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Dave Matthews, Brandi Carlile and Chris Stapleton will join Nelson onstage, while New Edition will perform for inductees The Spinners, represented by members John Edwards and Henry Fambrough.
H.E.R., Sia and Common accompanied Khan for a medley of her hits that included “I Feel For You,” “Ain’t Nobody,” “Sweet Thing” and “I’m Every Woman,” the latter brought nearly everyone to their feet.
When it was Khan’s turn, she called up guitarist Tony Maiden, a member of the band Rufus, which featured Khan in her early career. “Without him and the band, I would not be here today,” Khan said.
Also entering the hall as the class of 2023 are Rage Against the Machine, Link Wray and Al Kooper. Ice-T will present Rage Against the Machine.
The ceremony’s strong representation of women this year comes not long after the hall removed Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner from its board of directors. Wenner, who also co-founded the hall, had said that Black and female musicians “didn’t articulate at the level” of the white musicians featured in his new book of interviews. He later apologized.
Artists must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years before they’re eligible for induction. Nominees were voted on by more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry professionals.
ABC will air a special featuring performance highlights and standout moments on Jan. 1.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
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