Tupac Shakur will be inducted into the newest class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The late rapper will join Pearl Jam, Journey, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra and Joan Baez for the 2017 class. Chic’s Nile Rodgers will be given the Award For Musical Excellence.
The induction ceremony will be held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on April 7, 2017, and will later air on HBO. Ticket details will be announced in January.
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Artists are eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single. Rolling Stone reports 2017 is the first year Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur were eligible. They are also the first artists who started their careers in the ’90s to ever be inducted.
Nile Rodgers’ Musical Excellence Award comes after Chic was nominated 11 times. Formerly called the “sidekick” award, it “honors those musicians, producers and others who have spent their careers out of the spotlight working with major artists on various parts of their recording and live careers,” according to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website. But Rodgers feels a way about not going without his crew. “It’s sort of bittersweet,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
“I’m quite flattered that they believed that I was worthy, but my band Chic didn’t win. They plucked me out of the band and said, ‘You’re better than Chic.’ That’s wacky to me … I am flattered and I think it’s cool, but I feel like somebody put me in the lifeboat and told my family they can’t get in.”
Pac is the sixth artist from the hip-hop genre to make it into the Hall. Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five were inducted in 2007, Run DMC in 2009, the Beastie Boys in 2012, Public Enemy in 2013 and N.W.A. in 2016.
No word yet on who will accept the award on Pac’s behalf. His mother, Afeni Shakur, died earlier this year.