The 2018 class of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees announced today include a jazz icon and a gospel legend.
Jason Hanley, vice president of education and visitor engagement at the Rock Hall, cites Simone’s influential jazz and soul music and civil rights activism as reasons she is an important part of this year’s class.
“The same issues she was talking about in the 1960s are still ever present for us. So I think when a voter sees that, that’s going to have an impact. They’re going to see that that artists work still is needed in many ways and is still a voice that is important for us to hear,” said Hanley.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe often referred to as the “godmother of rock and roll” has long been discussed as a possible inductee. Hanley feels that this award recognizes her foundational influence without downplaying the important legacy of her music.