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Spike Lee, Harry Belafonte to induct Public Enemy into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Film director Spike Lee speaks at a luncheon

Film director Spike Lee speaks at a luncheon at the 100 Black Men of America conference in Miami. (June 7, 1996) Credit: AP

Director Spike Lee and the legendary Harry Belafonte have signed on to induct Roosevelt’s Public Enemy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month at a ceremony at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

Both Belafonte, who shares Public Enemy’s mix of entertainment and political activism, and Lee, who has collaborated with the rap group on several projects starting with using their song “Fight the Power” in his movie “Do the Right Thing” have personal ties to the group.

Usher and Carole King are set to perform tributes to producers Quincy Jones and Lou Adler, this year’s recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement. Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains will perform with Heart, who will be inducted by Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell. Jackson Browne and John Fogerty are set to perform with inductee Randy Newman.

The Rock Hall also announced this morning that, unlike in recent years, all of the living inductees – Public Enemy, Rush, Heart and Newman – will perform during the ceremony on April 18. The hall will also posthumously induct disco queen Donna Summer and blues legend Albert King this year.

The ceremony will be filmed for an HBO special to air on May 18.

To be eligible for Rock Hall consideration, artists must have released music more than 25 years ago. Public Enemy is a rare act chosen to be inducted in its first year of eligibility. The band’s debut “Yo! Bum Rush the Show,” with the hit “Public Enemy No. 1,” was released in 1987.

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