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.
Glad the Go Go’s got in, but still a travesty that Pat Benatar, who started little before, and I believe far more influential than the Go Go’s.
I agree Dana, they should remove the Rock n Roll reference, another sh–ty induction, clueless. When a band like Metallica is inducted before their influences like, Motörhead or Iron Maiden, clueless.
Guess they didn’t let Rage against the Machine in, so it would not look too suspicious.
To add to your point, the only reason Deep Purple even got in, was because of Lars Ulrich.
When the band got up to speak during their induction ceremony, Ulrich stated that it was a travesty that they got in before Deep Purple, who were a huge influence on the band. He continued to berate them, in the press, on TV, on the radio, and because of Lars’ persistance, they finally got in, disgraceful.
We all agree, they suck, and each year proves that will never change. The end-LOL!
“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.
What does he mean by youth culture? Youth. and youth today, generally just wanna hear artist who can’t play live and are ok with lip syncing.
The fact the The Goo-Goo’s are in but Pat Benatar isn’t is a SHAME…Pat Benatar has MANY more hits and more influence than almost ANY female artist, especially in Rock n Roll. Don’t get me wrong, I like me some Go-Go’s, but they were popular for just a few years and like 3 albums. I don’t get it.
I have been saying for years, Pat Benatar not being in the HOF is the BIGGEST snub of all! It is a total travesty! Especially for the female artists (real artists) she broke every ground in 1979, and is STILL breaking ground 42 years later! Her music speaks for itself, unfortunately when it comes to the HOF it appears to fall on deaf ears.
Although I disagree with certain things politically concerning RATM, imo, they were the most important… not greatest, but most important… band since The Clash. But to ignore Maiden… Here’s a band that have never had a huge hit, hardly any radio play, but has a global fan base loyalty like the Kiss Army. They finished 4th in the top 5 fan vote. A shame. The Foo Fighters have not made an impact, their songs do not stand the test of time, and with Grohl being involved with the RARHOF, go figure. Mostly, if he were not in Nirvana, we wouldn’t be seeing FF getting in at all, ever. But yay for the Go Go’s. I really would love to have seen Devo get in, and the Dolls, but they will always be in the shadows, exuding the kind of cool everyone wishes they had.
Another MAJOR snub – Alice In Chains, nobody even talks about them, ridiculous! And of course, even though we all know he’ll never get in or even be nominated because he is the most hated man in music, just solely based on his music and nothing else, Ted Nugent ABSOLUTELY belongs in the HOF! Late ’70s/early ’80s Uncle Ted was as big as anyone!