Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducts Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe Into 2018 Class

By Sameer Rao Dec 13, 2017

Two of the women of color featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2018 nominees listNina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe—will be inducted by the Cleveland-based institution next year. 

The Hall of Fame announced the list of inductees this morning (December 13). Simone, who achieved international acclaim for songs that addressed Black identity and resilience, is the only solo artist inducted in the Performer Category. The group is otherwise populated by entirely or predominantly White rock bands like Bon Jovi and Dire Straits.

Tharpe, whose gospel-inspired vocals and early use of the electric guitar preceded the emergence of rock and roll by nearly a decade, will receive a posthumous Award for Early Influence. Past recipients of this special honor for musical innovation include Mahalia Jackson, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday.  

The Hall of Fame will formally induct Simone, Tharpe and the other honorees at its annual ceremony and tribute concert on April 14, 2018.