Bernie Taupin received a Musical Excellence Award at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cofounder Jann Wenner received a dig for his imprudent remarks on why certain people were included in his recent book, The Masters.
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While promoting his interview-collection book in September, Wenner said that its lack of diversity in interview selections was because female musicians were never “articulate enough on this intellectual level,” and that Black artists “just didn’t articulate at that level.” The resultant outrage saw Wenner apologize, but he was subsequently dropped from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s board of directors.
On Friday, after Elton John gave a speech detailing his relationship with Taupin, his longtime collaborator, Taupin took to the stage. After listing his influences, talking about his work with Elton John, and calling on the Hall to induct Merle Haggard, Taupin turned his aim on Wenner.
“I guess you could say my being inducted is a paradox, perhaps, but either way, I’m honored to be in the class of 2023 alongside a group of such profoundly ‘articulate’ women and outstanding ‘articulate’ Black artists along with all of the other music masters here tonight,” Taupin said.
The other Musical Excellence Award winners were Chaka Khan and Al Kooper. The Hall of Fame inductees for 2023 were Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine, Sheryl Crow, the Spinners, and George Michael. This year’s Musical Influence Awards went to hip-hop legend DJ Kool Herc and the late Link Wray. Don Cornelius, the late creator of Soul Train, was posthumously honored with the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
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