The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place last night (October 30), and among the artists honoured this year were the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk. They were inducted by Pharrell, who delivered a video speech presenting them with a Music Excellence Award. This was later followed by a video tribute featuring artists including Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, the Human League’s Philip Oakey, and Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels. Watch it below.
“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a very special place. But I’m going to suggest that we create a new hall within the hall, reserved for artists who actually invented their genre, because Kraftwerk belongs there,” Pharell said in his speech (via Rolling Stone). “Today, electronic music is everywhere. But what Kraftwerk did was groundbreaking and revolutionary.” He continued:
And for many of us, we were influenced by Kraftwerk without even realising. Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter created Kraftwerk in Düsseldorf, Germany, and in the early Seventies, starting making experimental music that was unlike anything the world had never heard. It was truly a seismic moment for music, as we know it. But when Afrika Bambaataa reached into a crate of records and found Kraftwerk and funnelled that sound into ‘Planet Rock’, that’s when millions of hip-hop fans around the world, including myself, heard Kraftwerk’s infectious beats and alien vocals for the very first time.
I’m so lucky I got to meet the late Florian Schneider and let him know how much his music meant to all of us. We should all be thankful for Kraftwerk. It’s why this recognition is so important. Welcome Kraftwerk to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
LL Cool J, Billy Preston, Randy Rhoads were also honoured with the Music Excellence Award this year.
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