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.

source: yahoo/entertainment

28 Responses

  1. I am so happy that the Go-Go’s made the cut, and that the iconic Randy Rhoads was acknowledged, but once again a completely out-of-touch group of inductees.

    Please remove the Rock N’ Roll title from your institution. Despite the change in the chairman, the nominating committee still clearly do not have any idea what qualifies as “rock.” They seem to only care only about appeasement, popularity and their ongoing elitism, when making their choices. I guess none of us, should expect anything less from these snobs.

    To quote the Who “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” and to semi quote Savatage “Madness reigns in the Hall [of [the] Rock N’ Roll].”

    1. Dana, I love your Savatage reference to their song “Hall of the Mountain King”! Great song by a great band.

      While the Go-Go’s were indeed deserving of induction, it is absurd that Iron Maiden were not inducted into the RRHOF. Not only were they influential in music genre, style, and marketing, they are arguably one of the most successful world wide heavy metal bands of all time. To have a RRHOF that excludes Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest (IMO, the founders of heavy metal), is a travesty.

      My only saving grace is that RATM did not get in. And like my brother, Doug R, I hope they NEVER get in.

    2. F’ing absurd Maiden didn’t get in….The Foo Floggers!!!???!! Come onnnnn. What a joke. Bon Jovi waited a lot longer. Inept peckerhead’s.

  2. As usual a mix of good and bad. Very happy for The Go-Go’s, Tina Turner, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, The Foo Fighters, and of course, Randy Rhoads! Billy Preston as well, he was an excellent keyboardist! Unfortunately though once again rappers were included, which is wrong, and totally sucks, but at least no RATM! Thank God. Hopefully they’ll NEVER get in, they don’t deserve it at all and definitely don’t belong in the R&RHOF, or ANY HOF, unless there’s a hall of fame for the worst “bands” of all time in history, then they should be the first one in!

    1. Doug,

      I respectfully disagree, other than Rhoads and the Go-Go’s, this class, like many others, stinks.

      I have to say when I think “rock” my mind imeediately goes to Carole King and Tina Turner (eye roll). The Foo Fighters, while I guess they could be techincally considered “rock,” I don’t think they are worthy of induction (imo, their music is kind of lame), especially over bands such as JUDAS PRIEST Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, or even Poison, for that matter.

      The really should just call themselves the “Music Hall of Fame,” they wouldn’t know “rock” if it hit them in the head.

      I won’t discuss the induction of rap artists into a “rock” hall, it is so absurd, it’s laughable.

    1. Yes, Eddie T. Head is quite upset for the Bruce and Boys. No doubt he’ll come out swinging his saber. Up the Irons…until next year, I suppose.

  3. “This diverse class of talented Inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture”, said John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

    Talent shouldn’t be sacrificed in the name of wokeness and diversity.

    1. Exactly, and it irks me that the chairmen, shares the same name as the English guitarist, whom I have worshiped since I was a teenager…barf.

      Speaking of John, is Thin Lizzy even in??

  4. Dana, I agree, no way in hell The Foo Fighters should’ve went in before Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, or Whitesnake, and I TOTALLY agree they should change their name already, should’ve been done a long time ago! But out of this year’s nominees, I think Turner, King, Rundgren and Preston definitely deserved to be in. While Turner, King, and Preston aren’t technically “Rock,” neither are at least half of the so-called artists already in, and at least (IMO) they were/are good enough at what they do to be in.

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