Carole King is the songwriting GOAT, so says Taylor Allison Swift.

Swift, 31, kicked off the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony by paying tribute to one of this year’s inductees, Carole King, 79.

Swift opened the event by covering King’s classic, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”, originally written for the Shirelles in the 1960s and later performed by King herself on her 1971 album, “Tapestry.”

Taylor Swift performs for Carole King

Dressed in a black and gold lace bodysuit, Swift took the stage and delivered a rendition of the song that Rolling Stone described as a track that “could’ve slipped right onto 1989.

Cameras turned towards King at the end of Swift’s performance, catching her wiping away tears and indicating her approval.

In a speech after her performance, Swift said she was “raised by two of [King’s] biggest fans, who taught me the basic truths of life as they saw it: That you should treat people the way you want to be treated, that you must believe that you can achieve whatever you want to in life, and that Carole King is the greatest songwriter of all time.”

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“Her songs speak to the true and honest feelings that everyone has felt, is currently feeling, or hopes to feel one day,” she added. “So it is only right for them to be passed down like precious heirlooms from parents to children, older siblings to younger, lovers to each other. These songs come to you from somewhere else — a loved one, a friend, or the radio. And then, suddenly, they are partly yours.”

Speaking about King’s groundbreaking album “Tapestry”, Swift told the 12,000 attendees at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, “It was a watershed moment for humans in the world with feelings and for cats who have big dreams of one day ending up on iconic album covers.” Swift is a well-documented cat lover.

Taking the stage, King called Swift her “professional granddaughter”, acknowledging the impact she’s had on younger artists. “I am told… you know, I keep hearing it, so I guess I’m going to have to try to own it, that today’s female singers and songwriters stand on my shoulders,” she said. “Let it not be forgotten that they also stand on the shoulders of the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. May she rest in power, Miss Aretha Franklin!”

Carole King Taylor Swift
Inductee Carole King speaks onstage during the 36th Annual Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. — Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In 2019, King presented Swift with the American Music Award for Artist of the Decade, heaping praise on the singer-songwriter. “Over the years, I have known some great songwriters and I have also known some great singers and performers,” King said at the time. “It’s rare to see all those talents in one person… She is one of the only modern pop artists whose name (sometimes) appears as the sole songwriter in her song credits. Her lyrics resonate across all generations, her songs touch everyone and her impact around the world is extraordinary.”

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Saturday’s induction marks the second time that King has entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was inducted as a non-performer back in 1990 alongside her ex-husband and former songwriting partner Gerry Goffin. King’s 2021 induction recognizes her work as a performer. She joins only two other female artists — Tina Turner and Stevie Nicks — to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

A recording of the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air later this year on HBO and HBO Max.