German electronic music group Kraftwerk is now officially part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
First eligible for induction in 1996, the group didn’t make it onto the ballot until 2003. They were included on the ballot five more times but did not receive enough votes to be inducted. That all changed on Saturday, October 30th at the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony when the group was finally inducted as part of the “Early Influences” category.
Music producer and Kraftwerk fan Pharrell Williams gave the induction speech. In a recorded video, Williams said, “I’m going to suggest that we create a new hall within the Hall, reserved for artists who invented their genre, because Kraftwerk belongs there.”
He went on to list the many ways Kraftwerk inspired popular artists such as Afrika Bambaata. He also expressed gratitude for being able to meet the late Florian Schneider, who passed away in April of 2020. Schneider was one of the founding members of the group and performed with them until his departure in 2008.
Founded in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1969, Kraftwerk were one of the first acts to popularize electronic music. They began as part of West Germany’s experimental “Krautrock” scene before fully embracing electronic instruments such as drum machines, vocoders, and synthesizers.
Schneider, along with bandmates Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür, and Ralf Hütter, were inducted as part of the ceremony.