CLEVELAND — Two titans of the Minneapolis music scene will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, alongside the likes of Dolly Parton, Pat Benatar, Duran Duran and Eminem.
Included in this year's list of powerhouse inductees is Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the songwriter/producer duo from Minneapolis that influenced careers and collaborated with artists like Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and more.
Jam and Lewis are being honored with the 2022 Musical Excellence Award, which is given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music, according to the Hall of Fame.
Long-rocking heavy metal band Judas Priest will also be honored with the Musical Excellence Award.
Previous winners of the award include LL Cool J, Ringo Starr and The E Street Band.
Both members of the Grammy-winning duo are products of the Minneapolis Public Schools system. Jimmy Jam Harris, a Washburn High School alum, took piano lessons with Prince at Central High School in the 1970s.
Harris and Lewis met 49 years ago at the University of Minnesota's Upward Bound program, which was designed to create the next generation of teachers.
They first played together professionally in the Minneapolis funk and R&B band Flyte Tyme, with Harris on keyboards and Lewis on bass. That band morphed into The Time, featuring Morris Day, and was part of a coalition of musicians that worked Prince in the early 1980s.
In 1982, Jam and Lewis formed Flyte Tyme Productions. According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, "their musical toolkit included the boom and pop of the 808 drum machine, scorching lead synthesizer lines, deep melodic basslines, and a total commitment to the groove of a song – a sound they referred to as the 'funky bottom and the pretty top.'"
In Nov. 2020, the former Flyte Tyme Studios location in Edina was demolished, with the land planned for an affordable housing project.
Just last month Harris andn Lewis hit the Grammy's stage with H.E.R., Travis Barker and Lenny Kravitz. And on April 28, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar referred to the music duo as "legends" after presenting them with an award at Grammys on the Hill.
Jam, Lewis and the entire 2022 Hall of Fame class will be honored at the induction ceremony in Los Angeles on Nov. 5.
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