Taylor Swift Inducts Carole King Into the Rock Hall of Fame
"I cannot remember a time when I didn't know her music; I was raised by two of her biggest fans," Swift said. "I listen to Carol's music now and I feel that same tingle of recognition. Her songs speak to the true and honest feelings that everyone has felt, is feeling or hopes to be feeling one day."
Swift began the ceremony with a sweetly conveyed version of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," drawing huge applause for the No. 1 1960 hit song for the Shirelles written by King and her former husband Gerry Goffin.
"The purity to the music that she creates exists between two worlds – one of mystery and magical inspiration and another of decades of hard-earned and heard-learned craftsmanship," Swift said. "Just because it looks so effortless doesn't mean it has been."
King is now one of only three women to have been inducted into the hall twice. (Along with fellow 2021 inductee Tina Turner and 2019 inductee Stevie Nicks.) She was first inducted in 1990 for her songwriting work with Goffin.
When a fan yelled, "We love you, Carole!," she stopped her remarks to warmly thank them. She also spoke directly to Taylor, describing her as "my professional granddaughter." Jennifer Hudson then performed the King co-written "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" after King brought the arena to their feet in recognition of the hit version's late interpreter, Aretha Franklin.
King later admitted that she had no idea Swift would open with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow." "I actually came briefly when she was rehearsing and then they whisked me away, but the version she did tonight was just amazing," King said backstage. "She owned it and just made it her own. No one’s ever done it that way and that’s the joy for me as a songwriter."
The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air on Nov. 20 on HBO alongside a radio simulcast on SiriusXM Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Radio.