Speaking about King’s blockbuster “Tapestry” album, released 50 years ago, Swift said, “It was a watershed moment for humans in the world with feelings and for cats who have big dreams of one day ending up on iconic album covers.”
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King thanked Taylor for carrying the torch for songwriters and called her “my professional granddaughter “
Swift performed the decades-spanning hit in front of a crowd of 12,000 at the ceremony, held at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The pop superstar was wearing a one-piece black and gold jumpsuit by Sarah Regensburger and Greta Constantine, with boots by Louis Vuitton.
That song holds a special place for the 79-year-old singer-songwriter, also famed for hits like “You’ve Got a Friend” and “It’s Too Late,. “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” was a monster hit for the Shirelles in 1960, when King was only a songwriter and not yet recording artist; she re-recorded it for her solo album “Tapestry,” which after its 1971 release became what was then one of the biggest albums of all time — currently it’s 13-times platinum, and it still holds a record for the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard chart for a female artist (15).
Also included as part of the tribute was a video homage including stars like Sara Bareilles and Elton John. In the video, Tom Hanks said “Tapestry” was arguably the greatest music of all time.
Swift and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson shared the stage honoring King, commemorating her second induction into the hall. King and Hudson appeared together on the cover of Variety this summer, talking about their experience writing a new song for the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” in which Hudson starred. King said in that interview that, while she rarely leaves the state of Idaho anymore, she would be making an exception for the Hall of Fame.
King previously presented Swift with the American Music Award for artist of the decade in 2019. “Over the years, I have known some great songwriters and I have also known some great singers and performers,” King said in her speech on that telecast. “It’s rare to see all those talents in one person… She is one of the only modern pop artists whose name (sometimes) appears as the sole songwriter in her song credits. Her lyrics resonate across all generations, her songs touch everyone and her impact around the world is extraordinary.”
Still to come tonight: Drew Barrymore will be on hand to induct the Go-Go’s. Bassett will be the presenter for Turner, whom she famously portrayed in the film “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” Christina Aguilera, Mickey Guyton, H.E.R. and Keith Urban (stepping in for Bryan Adams) will perform Turner’s songs. Paul McCartney will induct Foo Fighters, with a planned set that will include a Beatles song, Variety has learned. Also, a medley of Rolling Stones songs honoring the late Charlie Watts is set to be performed. A source tells Variety that Foo Fighters rehearsed “nothing but Rolling Stones songs” prior to their pop-up show Thursday night at Cleveland’s House of Blues. Among that set of songs, the band jammed to “Tumbling Dice.”
Additionally, the Go-Go’s let one out of the bag with an interview on Sirius XM Friday, saying that Eminem will be attending. Sources confirm that Eminem is on hand to induct LL Cool J into the Hall. Also, Pharrell Williams taped a tribute to inductees Kraftwork. Lionel Richie will induct executive Clarence Avent into the Hall tonight as well, having flown in earlier in the day one day after performing at his Las Vegas residency at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort.
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