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Being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is no small feat for an artist, no matter what style of music they’re known for making. Take, for example, the RRHF’s Class of 2019, a class that touts an incredibly dynamic group of artists, from pop superstar Janet Jackson to psych-rock pioneers of the U.K, The Zombies.
Below is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019, which was announced Thursday.
- The Cure
- Def Leppard
- Janet Jackson
- Stevie Nicks
- Roxy Music
- The Zombies
Following the nomination of 15 artists, only these seven made the cut to be inducted into next year’s Hall of Fame. The list of nominees is determined by a voting group of current Hall of Famers, along with leaders of the music industry. A fan ballot is also accounted for, which gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite artists, at rockhall.com/fan-vote. The artists who didn’t make the list this year include Rage Against the Machine, Todd Rundgren, Devo, MC5, LL Cool J, Kraftwerk, John Prine and Rufus & Chaka Khan.
To be eligible for nomination, an artist is required to have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to nomination.
In 2018, Radiohead received their first nomination, as the band’s hit single, “Creep,” reached its 25-year anniversary. Not making it past the nomination stage last year, Radiohead achieved induction for 2019. Members of the group have shrugged off this honor in the past, saying in an outtake from an interview with Rolling Stone that they don’t really care about the achievement and that it must be a “quintessential American thing”.
Def Leppard also publicly dismissed the Hall of Fame, when the band stated that they’d “politely refuse” the nomination. However, they still accepted this year’s nomination despite what Joe Eliot said in an interview last November with loudwire.com, describing that the Hall of Fame wasn’t an accurate reflection of popular music: “What elitists think is an impact is very different to what the regular man on the street counts as impact”.
Despite the faint disapproval shown by other inductees, others have deeply expressed their gratitude for such an achievement. According to Rolling Stone, Janet Jackson released a statement sharing that she is both “truly honored” and “happy to be in there with my brothers.”
Her induction trails that of the Jackson 5, inducted in 1997, and Michael Jackson (solo) in 2001. Stevie Nicks shared how grateful she was to be recognized for both her solo work and also her work in Fleetwood Mac, with whom she’s already been inducted in for back in 1998. Stevie Nicks is now the first woman to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on two occasions.
You don’t have to be a rock & roll “legend” to end up in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and you shouldn’t have to be. Rock & Roll stands for more than just distorted guitars and cranked-up amps. It’s a genre defined by pushing the envelope. Rock & Roll created a medium for artists to use their voice on political and cultural issues, enticing governmental action for the problems in society. It questions authority and enabled unification when the US seemed most divided.
The voting group for the RRHF debates on whether the artist (up for nomination) has influenced other artists, the depth of their body of work and whether or not they have innovated in music.
While many people can argue against these factors, you can’t really deny that these artists have not made an impact on their audience. If listeners felt more comfortable in their own skin by relating to their favorite artists, then those artists should be valid candidates for the Hall of Fame.
It is without a doubt that glam-rockers Roxy Music have impacted their fans this way, or even the goth-pop-rock pioneers The Cure. Music should not be weighed by commercial success but by the impact of those connections made, the calls to action for a better society and the ability to make a fan feel like life can be a little bit easier.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony is scheduled to take place March 29 of 2019 at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York.
To contact Lifestyles Editor Mamie Lomax, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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