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Who better to help induct Carole King into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame than her biggest fan?

During the 2021 ceremony, Taylor Swift treated the audience to a performance of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" before delivering a personal and emotionally-charged speech about King and her influence on both the music industry and Swift's life.

Saying she couldn't remember a time "when I didn't know Carole King's music," Swift talked about how her parents' love of the legendary singer-songwriter — who she called "the greatest songwriter of all time" — was more than a little significant in her life.

"There have been times when any fan's dedication to the artist they love can complicate things in their personal life," Swift explained in her speech. "My dad once told me a story from when he was in college and a girl he was just starting to date flirtatiously asked him if there were any songs that made him think of her. He instantly responded with his absolute favorite song, which was 'It's Too Late' by Carole King — not taking into consideration that the lyrics include lines like 'Something inside has died and I just can't hide and I just can't fake it.' Shockingly the relationship didn't work out. But if it had, I wouldn't be here tonight."

Taylor Swift inducts Carole King onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Taylor Swift and Carole King
| Credit: Kevin Kane/Getty

King's induction into the Hall of Fame marks the second time she's receiving the honor. She was previously inducted in 1990 as a "non-performer" with her former husband and partner Gerry Goffin. King's 2021 induction makes her the third double female inductee after Stevie Nicks and Tina Turner. She also makes history as the first woman to join the Hall of Fame as a performer and a non-performer.

In 2019, King presented Swift with the Artist of the Decade Award at the 2019 American Music Awards — making this speech a fun full-circle moment for both performers.

Carole taught artists like me that telling your own story is worth the work and struggle it takes to earn the opportunity for your story to be heard. That musical connection can be generation-spanning," Swift declared. "She created the purest works of love and strength and catharsis while navigating the politics of an era that didn't make space for the idea of a female genius. Slowly but surely, Carole King worked and worked until she had created one. And it will hers forever."

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