CLEVELAND, OHIO (SMI-ENTERTAINMENT MAY 03-07, 2023)-The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced Today May 3, its 2023 Inductees with Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, ,Missy Elliott, George Michael, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine and the Spinners making the list in the performer category during one hour special announcement streamed by Apple Music 1 and hosted by Ebro Darden, Rebecca Judd, Matt Wilkinson, Brooke Reese, and Kelleigh Bannen with special guests Sheryl Crow and Bernie Taupin.
The 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, November 3rd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
• Sheryl Crow
• Missy Elliott
• George Michael
• Willie Nelson
• Rage Against the Machine
• The Spinners
To be eligible, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years prior to Induction. Four of seven Inductees in the Performer category were on the ballot for the first time, including Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, George Michael, and Willie Nelson. This was the first year of eligibility for Missy Elliott.
George Michael possessed extraordinary talent as a songwriter, vocalist, and producer. His incomparable vision and drive propelled him to superstardom, and he became the most-played artist on British radio from 1984 to 2004 and one of the best-selling artists of all time.
George Michael formed the pop duo Wham! with schoolmate Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. They achieved teen idol status with hits like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and the timeless holiday Megahit “Last Christmas.” Michael’s first foray into the solo spotlight with the introspective hits “Careless Whisper” and “A Different Corner” eventually spelled the end of the group in 1986.
After the global pop success of Wham!, in 1987, George Michael scored the hit duet “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me” with Aretha Franklin and released his self-produced solo debut, Faith. With well-crafted hooks, mature lyrics, and funk and Motown influences, Faith was a Number One smash boasting four hit singles, including the title track and “Father Figure.” It was the first album by a white solo artist to lead Billboard's Top Black Albums chart and remains one of the best-selling LPs of all time. Echoes can be heard in the impassioned vocals and personal lyrics of artists from Adele to Lady Gaga to Mary J. Blige.
Wanting his music to speak for itself, George Michael declined to appear on the album cover and in music videos for Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. The album is a masterpiece that alludes to Michael's struggle as a closeted gay man during the height of the AIDS epidemic. However, after coming out in 1998, Michael refused to shy away from honesty again, paving the way for a generation of proud LGBTQIA+ artists, from Sam Smith to Lil Nas X to Troye Sivan.
George Michael died in 2016, leaving a remarkable legacy as a brilliant performer, activist, philanthropist, and champion for artist authenticity.
“A Different Corner” (1986) • Faith (1987) • “Freedom! ‘90,” “Waiting for That Day,” Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990) • “Too Funky” (1992) • “Jesus to a Child,” “You Have Been Loved,” Older (1996) • “Amazing,” “My Mother Had a Brother,” Patience(2004) • “An Easier Affair” (2006) • “This Is How (We Want You to Get High),” Last Christmas (2019)
Inductee: George Michael