Taylor Swift’s Carole King Tribute to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Taylor Swift opened the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inauguration ceremony in 2021 by performing a sleek synth-pop version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” a song originally written together and performed by 2021-induced Carole King.

Carried by a chorus of soft-glowing backing singers and a lush bed of keyboards – true enough, the song sounded as if it could have slipped right into 1989 – Swift walked slowly and deliberately around the stage and let the music and lyrics wash over her. Her performance was honey-smooth and full of admiration and clearly showed that she grew up listening to King’s music.

In a nod to the night’s formal tone, Swift wore a black lace bodysuit with sparse glitter accents and sparkling eye shadow that matched. Swift looked excited beyond singing the song, smiling broadly after the first chorus as the audience screamed its approval, adding theatrical vocal blossoms here and there to emphasize. And after singing some of the more pointed lines, especially, “So tell me now, and I will not ask again,” Swift had a cheeky look on her face that showed she meant business.

King, however, was even more moved by the performance: The camera panned for her among the audience as the song hovered to its end, and King wiped the tears away, gesturing her acceptance and approval to Swift.

Although Swift has never covered the song before, the two women have crossed paths before. At the 2019 American Music Awards, King Swift presented the Artist of the Decade award and praised the musician’s versatility. “Over the years, I’ve known some great songwriters, and I’ve also known some amazing singers and artists,” she said. “It is rare to see all the talents in one person. Taylor Swift. She is one of the only modern pop artists whose name appears as the only songwriter in her song credits. Her lyrics resonate across all generations, her songs touch everyone, and her influence around the world is extraordinary. “

Both Swift and King have also won the prestigious Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The latter won for the 1971s Gobelin, while Swift took the credit home three times, for the 2008s Fearless, 2014s 1989, and the 2020s folklore.

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