Randy Newman and Public Enemy are among an eclectic mix of 2013 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the museum announced today at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Flea, bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, announced the six inductees chosen from 15 nominees this year.
The class of 2013 is a diverse bunch despite its size. They are blues guitarist Albert King, disco royalty Donna Summer, rockers Heart and early hip-hop artists Public Enemy, singer-songwriter Newman, and progressive rock band Rush.
Dubbed the "Queen of Disco," Donna Summer became a superstar in the 1970s with disco megahits "Love to Love You Baby" and "Last Dance." Summer continued to release music until 2010. She died in May 2012, just months shy of her being nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Blues guitarist Albert King, the "Velvet Bulldozer," was an imposing man at 6-foot-4 and about 250 pounds with a powerful voice. Left-handed King was known for his upside-down guitar playing and unorthodox tuning methods. Along with B.B. King and Freddie King, Albert King was known as one of the "Three Kings of Blues Guitar."
Heart, led by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, burst onto the rock scene with the hits "Crazy on You" and "Magic Man" and has continued to release music since the initial success in the 1970s. Heart's last album, "Red Velvet Car," was released in 2010 and the group has tour dates planned across North America through 2013.
Public Enemy hit the hip hop scene in the late 1980s with anti-establishment anthems like 1989's "Fight the Power." Now, frontman Chuck D can be found on the college speaking circuit and sidekick Flavor Flav is a certified reality-TV star who faced legal trouble this year. This year also saw the release of two Public Enemy albums, July's "Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp" and November's "The Evil Empire of Everything."
If you don't recognize the name of pop songster and composer Randy Newman, you might know the music he created for such films as "The Natural," "James and the Giant Peach," and "Meet the Parents," as well as Pixar hits like "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2," among others. In 2012, Newman released the song "I'm Dreaming," which takes a satirical look at the racial subtext in today's presidential politics.
They started as a bar band in Toronto and hit it big in 1981 with the song "Tom Sawyer" and in 2012 Rush continued to make music, releasing the album "Clockwork Angels." In September, the group began the first leg of the "Clockwork Angels" tour, which is set to continue until spring of 2013.
The official induction ceremony will take place April 28, 2013.