"It's unbelievable," Darryl "DMC" McDaniels told the New York Post. "This is great news."
McDaniels, Joseph "DJ Run" Simmons and Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell came together in Hollis, Queens, under the mentorship of Simmons' older brother Russell, who would go on to found the seminal rap label Def Jam Recordings.
The group released their first single in 1983, "It's Like That/Sucker MCs," ushering in a new sound for rap music featuring rock guitar riffs and hard drumbeats. They would go on to become the first act in rap history to crack the Top 10 on the pop album charts and the first to go platinum.
They reached super-stardom when they joined forces with Aerosmith to re-record the rockers' classic, "Walk This Way." A mixture of Run-DMC's beats and hard rhyming style with Joe Perry's ripping guitar riff and Steven Tyler's howling vocals made it an irresistible piece of head-bouncing pop.
Tragically, Mizell was killed while working early in the morning of October 30, 2002, in his Queens recording studio. His murder remains unsolved.
Joining the band's surviving members in Cleveland on April 4 for the induction will be metal gods Metallica, guitar legend Jeff Beck, and R&B great Bobby Womack, Little Anthony & the Imperials, rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson, Spooner Oldham and two members of Elvis Presley's band: drummer D.J. Fontana and bassist Bill Black.