The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2018 inductees, and the one we are most excited about is, hands down, Nina Simone. An accomplished singer, songwriter, and pianist known as "the High Priestess of Soul,” Simone was also an important activist in the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, calling out injustice through her songs like “Mississippi Goddam,” “To Be Young, Gifted, And Black,” “Four Women,” and her version of “Strange Fruit” (originally written by Billie Holiday).
Simone has been eligible since 1986, but she’s never even been nominated before. Um, about time, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Don’t know much about Simone but want to fix that, as you should? The 2015 documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, directed by Liz Garbus and executive produced by Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly, is a great film and is available to watch on Netflix.
Gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose music in the ‘30s and ‘40s was hugely influential in the development of rock’n’roll, will also be inducted. She’s been called “the original soul sister” and “The Godmother of Rock and Roll.” Rolling Stone describes her as “A queer black woman from Arkansas who shredded on electric guitar, belted praises both to God and secular pleasures, and broke the color line touring with white singers, she was gospel's first superstar, and she most assuredly rocked.”
The other inductees are a bunch white dude rock bands: the Cars, Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues, and Dire Straits.
Top photo: Nina Simone, from "What Happened, Miss Simone?"
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