THE ROCK N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES ITS CLASS OF 2021 INDUCTEES INCLUDING: THE GO-GOS, TINA TURNER, THE FOO FIGHTERS, RANDY RHOADS UNDER “MUSIC EXCELLENCE,” AMONG OTHERS, HOWEVER, IRON MAIDEN FAILS TO MAKE THE CUT
The inductees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 were announced this morning (May 12th).
“This diverse class of talented Inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture,” John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said in a statement Wednesday. “It will make for an unforgettable live celebration of music in October at this year’s Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.”
Among this year’s six artists recognized in the Performer category are the Go-Go’s, 40 years after the release of their landmark debut Beauty and the Beat. Controversially, the Go-Go’s had never been nominated before, despite making history when Beauty and the Beat became the first — and to date, still only — album by an all-female band that wrote all their songs and played all their instrument to go to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The group’s longtime snubbing was addressed in their 2020 self-titled documentary, with frontwoman Belinda Carlisle speculating that they’d been blacklisted because they once complained to Hall co-founder and Rolling Stone magnate Jann Wenner about their sexist Rolling Stone cover. Wenner stepped down as Hall chairman and was replaced by MTV co-founder Sykes in 2020 — a development that industry pundits presumed would lead to more diverse future ballots.
The Class of 2021’s other two female inductees are Tina Turner (who won this year’s fan vote) and Carole King, both of whom were already in the Hall, but — bafflingly — only as co-inductees in conjunction with their respective ex-husbands, Ike Turner and Gerry Goffin. This now makes Tina Turner and Carole King only the second and third female artists to enter the Hall twice (following the Class of 2019’s Stevie Nicks), compared to the 23 male artists who are multiple inductees.
Joining the Go-Go’s, Turner, and King in the Hall is prog/powerpop songwriter and producer Todd Rundgren, on his third try, as well as alt-rock band the Foo Fighters and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, the only two Class of 2021 inductees to appear on the ballot in their first year of eligibility. (Each nominee’s first single or album had to have been released in 1995 or earlier.) The Foos’ entry also makes frontman Dave Grohl a double-inductee, as he was inducted with Nirvana when they too got in during their first year of eligibility, in 2014.
The shortlisted Class of 2021 artists that were passed over this year were Afrobeat trailblazer Fela Kuti, first-wave British metal band Iron Maiden, new wave mavericks Devo, political ‘90s alt-rockers Rage Against the Machine, glam-rockers the New York Dolls, Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige, soul divas Dionne Warwick and Chaka Khan, and British avant singer-songwriter Kate Bush, several of whom had been nominated before. However, two other artists that had been controversially snubbed in the Performer bracket for years were able to finally get in this year, albeit via other special categories.
Almost exactly 40 years after the release of their landmark eighth album Computer World, German techno architects Kraftwerk — who, it could be argued, laid down the blueprint for all electronic music — are at along last being recognized in the Early Influence category, after being nominated and passed over in the Performer category an astonishing six times. Kraftwerk’s fellow 2021 Early Influence Award recipients are “Father of the Delta Blues” Charley Patton and soul/jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron, who is considered by many music historians to be the first rapper ever.
Another rap pioneer, LL Cool J, had been nominated in the Performer category a shocking six times, including this year, but he will finally enter the Hall via the Musical Excellence Award (which seems like an odd consolation prize of sorts, given that Jay-Z was inducted into the Performers category on his first attempt). This year’s other two Music Excellence honorees are legendary late musicians keyboardist Billy Preston and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads. The 2021 Ahmet Ertegun Award, which recognizes non-performing industry professionals, will go to label executive, entrepreneur, concert organizer, and film producer Clarence Avant, whose storied career was the subject of the 2019 documentary The Black Godfather.
The 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place October 30th at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, and will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max at a later date.
Last I’m gonna say Pat Benatar’s snub is probably due to the record executives getting her to work her sexuality on album covers rather than putting stock in her singing voice. So, that stupid induction ceremony, I’ll only watch to see what they do, if anything, for Eddie Van Halen. I could care a rat’s butt who they nominate to put in, cause I’m done wasting energy on this pathetic institution.
You last sentence is pretty spot on. They are a pathetic and elitist institution.
Charles, only her first 2 albums – “In The Heat Of The Night” and “Crimes Of Passion” were just slightly revealing, nothing at all compared to some of Madonna’s album covers and other artists that weren’t snubbed, I have my own theory as to why they keep ignoring Benatar, but I’m sick and tired of talking about politics. Besides, who are “they” to decide who gets in and who doesn’t, the R&RHOF has always been and will always be OUT-A-TOUCH! 😉
i don’t want to be charged with anything, but a change is necessary in “the diverse, music, influential-on-youth, repeat inductee, kiss-ass, ticket-selling tv special hall of fame.” did i miss anything?
I’d put Mudvayne in. They made sound paintings…they synthesized their immense chops and then hurled them at the wall.. the lyrics are pretty good…the singer drives the band and vice versa…and his singing style forces you to either get on board or run the other way…I chose the former..”rock and roll is not a place you can just go to, someone has to take you there.”
so these ppl arent in.
weird al yankovic
solo ozzy osbourne
solo ronnie dio
solo david lee roth
solo sammy hagar
but these ppl are.
madonna (who cant sing dance or act)
and i will say this one more time, KISS is in only because the ceremony that yr was in brooklyn ny.(nyc locals )
Thin Lizzy, Motley Crue, Alice In Chains, and there are others, but right now I Can’t Remember who they are, it’s too early. There really are No Excuses for these bands not to be in. Ok, I’m done, Over Now.
Again, I forgot to mention Megadeth! Mustaine is a genius, he’s like the Energizer bunny, he just keeps going, and going, and… but unfortunately Megadeth will never get in, same goes for Ted Nugent, and we all know why…
Ok, so before I hit the road, (hopefully I won’t run out of gas) have to add to the list ~ Whitesnake, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, and Styx! That’s right, Styx! Love em or hate em (I love em) they deserve to be in as well!