Watch CBSN Live

Rock Hall of Fame inductees "incredibly diverse" but uniquely connected

Common bonds of 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fa... 04:37

A diverse lineup of influential musicians will be inducted Friday night into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Artists representing punk rock to gangster rap will all be recognized by the music industry. They are names you recognize with songs you know by heart. They might all sound very different, but they have more in common than you think, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.

They cover the musical spectrum, from the easy rock of Chicago to the guys once known as the loudest band in the world: Deep Purple.

Eric Wright Jr., son of N.W.A artist Eazy-E, ... 00:46

There's crooner Steve Miller, punk rockers Cheap Trick and gangster rappers N.W.A.

"This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class is incredibly diverse," said Brian Hiatt, senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine. "The nominating committee are trying to find acts that were important, that shaped the face of rock 'n' roll and popular music."

Deep Purple sold more than 100 million albums, and along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, defined heavy metal music.

"We never set out to become this, that or the other pop rock or metal ... so you guys out there put us into a genre you felt appropriate," Deep Purple front man Glenn Hughes said.

"So to you, you were just rock and rollers," CBS News' Michelle Miller said.

"We were just making music," Hughes said.

"What does it mean for you guys to be in this class?" Miller asked.

"It's like I'm kinda being inducted with some of my old friends," Hughes said.

This year's inductees are uniquely connected. Cheap Trick played with Deep Purple in the '70s. Steve Miller once opened for Chicago. N.W.A sampled Steve Miller's hit song, "Take the Money and Run," for one of its own rhymes.

N.W.A is only the 5th hip-hop act to join the Hall of Fame, as the youngest group this year and the most controversial. Their lyrics were extreme, profane and brutally honest about their own black urban experience in the 1990s.

"So why is America ready to give the N.W.A the embrace?" Miller asked.

"N.W.A in their time were obviously extremely controversial," Hiatt said. "But a bunch of things have happened since then."

Since then, two founding members found mainstream success. Dr. Dre started a multi-billion dollar headphone company. Ice Cube is now an actor and filmmaker.

"N.W.A, we were shunned by critics, by a lot of people in the industry and we did it our way. We was truthful," Ice Cube said.

Then last year's blockbuster biopic "Straight Outta Compton" thrust the group into the national spotlight.

"You really saw the human sides of these people and you understood where they were coming from and what was in their lives that led them to make this music," Hiatt said.

"We came from the heart and we ended up in the Hall of Fame and that's rock 'n' roll to me," Ice Cube said.

Artists become eligible to be nominated after 25 years from their first record debut.

At Barclays Center in Brooklyn, several of the six inductees -- Chicago, Deep Purple, Steve Miller -- will be performing. To see the concert they are taping Friday night, you will have to wait until April 30 when it airs on HBO.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.