The 2013 class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees will get their names permanently engraved in Cleveland on Thursday (April 18) night. And if you aren’t aware of what Public Enemy, Heart, Rush, Donna Summer, Randy Newman and Albert King have done to earn one of music’s highest honors, here’s a quick pop culture cheat sheet.
It’s fitting that PE are the fourth hip-hop group inducted into the Hall of Fame, since their pioneering sound, vision and lyrical influence have helped shape rap for more than three decades. The Long Island crew, led by literate rhymer Chuck D and outrageous hype man Flavor Flav, exploded the possibilities of the genre with such songs as “Bring the Noise,” “Don’t Believe The Hype” and “Fight the Power,” melding politics with cries for social justice over a squealing, frantic bed of chaotic noise from DJ Terminator X.
On the 25th anniversary of the landmark album It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Flav told MTV News that it was, “A combination of the street versus the natural elements that try to do the right way in life: anti-drugs, anti-alcohol.” Since Flav did not abstain from those substances, when those two worlds collided it was a vision that no one else could understand or replicate.
“Fight the Power” is central to Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and was #322 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The group’s influence was huge in hip-hop, but spread well beyond, touching rock groups such as Rage Against the Machine and Anthrax.
Will be inducted by: Spike Lee and Harry Belafonte.
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson set the tempo in the 1970s for generations of female rockers thanks to their iconic hits “Crazy On You,” “Magic Man” and “Barracuda.” They also played a role in helping birth the 1990s grunge revolution with their Bad Animals recording studio in Seattle, which has hosted bands including Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.
Their song “Alone” — which was used in a 2009 episode of “Glee” — has also become a staple of “American Idol” finals rounds, with everyone from Carrie Underwood to Allison Iraheta, Jacob Lusk and Gina Glocksen taking it on. They’ve also been sampled by Ice-T (“Personal”), Eminem (“Crazy in Love”) and Lil Wayne (“Something You Forgot”).
Will be inducted by: Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell (Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains will perform with Heart.)
The nerdvana of rock bands, the Canadian trio has spent more than three decades melding science fiction and fantasy with instrumental wizardry, serving as inspiration for bands ranging from Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine to the Foo Fighters and Metallica.
It took them more than a dozen years to finally make it to the Hall, but references to their music songs such as the iconic “Tom Sawyer” have been a regular in movies and TV for years, including “Waterboy,” “South Park,” “The Simpsons,” “School Of Rock,” “House,” “The Sopranos” and Rob Zombie’s just-released horror movie “The Lords of Salem.” Actor Jason Segel has practically made the trio a co-star in his career, from his frequent references on “Freaks and Geeks” and “How I Met Your Mother” to the multiple scenes in 2009′s “I Love You Man” featuring the band in concert and their posters on Segel’s wall.
Will be inducted by: Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters.
The Queen of Disco, who passed away last May, gave the world such indelible hits as “Last Dance,” “I Feel Love,” “Love to Love You Baby” and “She Works Hard for the Money.” Those songs and others continue to exert their influence on pop culture, in movies like “Zoolander,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “Frost/Nixon” and in covers or samples in songs by Beyoncé, TLC, David Guetta, Madonna and Britney Spears.
Will be inducted by: Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson.
From his early 1970s hits, which took on everything from the slave trade (“Sail Away”) to hatred of “Short People,” Newman has made a career of writing songs that surprise and amuse. He’s best known these days for his 20 Oscar nominations for his work scoring movies (“Meet the Parents,” “The Princess and the Frog”), especially Pixar hits like all three “Toy Story” movies, “Monsters Inc.,” “Cars” and “A Bug’s Life.” He’ll be back at it later this year with the score to the eagerly anticipated “Monsters University.”
Will be inducted by: Don Henley of the Eagles.
Blues giant Albert King will also be inducted by John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. The ceremony will be held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles and air on HBO on May 18 at 9 p.m. ET.