Carole King Thanks Taylor Swift, Praises Aretha Franklin in Rock Hall Induction Speech
Carole King became only the third female artist in history to be twice-inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Saturday as part of the Class of 2021.
The Tapestry singer-songwriter — who was previously enshrined in 1990 alongside her former husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin — joined Stevie Nicks and Tina Turner in the Rock Hall’s elite club of two-time inductees. “I’m in great company, let me just say, with those women,” King told Rolling Stone in May following news of her reentering the Rock Hall.
King was welcomed back into the Rock Hall by Taylor Swift; two years earlier, it was King presenting Taylor Swift with the AMA’s Artist of the Decade Award.
Read King’s entire Rock Hall induction speech below:
I want to thank Taylor — thank you for that awesome performance. And also, thank you for carrying the torch forward. I want to thank all of tonight’s inductees for carrying the torch, from rhythm & blues to rock & roll, to the music that inspires us today. I have to start with Gerry Goffin. I owe so much to Gerry Goffin, whose lyrics nailed our deepest feelings. And Miss Toni Stern, who wrote “It’s Too Late…” To Lou Adler, who recorded Tapestry as if I were playing a new song for a friend and you gave me the confidence in 1971 to open for James Taylor at the Troubadour.
I was James’ piano player on a college tour when he said, “I want to turn the stage over to Carole King.” And as you saw in the film, I’m thinking, “Please, don’t do this.” But then he listed the songs that Gerry and I had written and said the fateful words: “Here’s Carole to perform ‘Up on the Roof.'”
I’m kind of a hermit, and to come out tonight and see old friends and new and just all of you here tonight to welcome all the inductees, and me as one of them, it’s unbelievable. Thank you so much. At this point, I am used to performing, and when, you know, that fateful night when the audience began to sing along and I felt them with me — and here we are, 51 years later.
I have to thank all the groundbreaking musicians, the cats, you saw them in the pictures. Charlie Larkey, Danny Kortchmar, Lee Sklar, Russ Kunkel and so many more. And very important, the people behind the scenes of the show. You don’t see them, but we do — thank you. My first piano teacher, who exposed me to all kinds of music, to my father who told me I could do anything. To my daughter and manager, Sherry Goffin Kondor, who helps me do everything, and to Louise Goffin, who added to her parent’ songwriting skills and continues to bring her own wonderful gift to the world. And to all my descendants, I love you so much.
I am told…you know, I keep hearing it, so I guess I’m going to have to try to own it, that today’s female singers and songwriters stand on my shoulders. Let it not be forgotten that they also stand on the shoulders of the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. May she rest in power, Miss Aretha Franklin!