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Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Carole King among 2021 Rock Hall nominees

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced 16 nominees for consideration to be inducted into the hall later this year for its 36th class. This year’s nominees include Todd Rundgren, The New York Dolls, Foo Fighters, The Go-Gos, LL Cool J, Chaka Kahn, Fela Kuti, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Carole King, Rage Against The Machine, Devo, Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Kate Bush, and Dionne Warwick. From that group, it’s expected that at least 6 will see induction during ceremonies tentatively set for this fall. The final list of inductees will be released in May, according to the Rock Hall.

Artists become eligible for induction to the rock hall 25 years after the release of their first record.

There is a bit of mystery regarding the process of how the list of nominees gets whittled down to the final inductees. As Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris told The Maine Edge a year ago “The industry vote is what ultimately determines election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” He explained that the industry vote is made up of more than 1,000 voters, many of whom are already inductees.

Until April 30, fans are encouraged to cast a vote for up to five nominees daily at As of this writing, world music pioneer and multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti is the top fan-vote getter with nearly 125,000 votes. Tina Turner is in second place with more than 88,000.

Without getting into the weeds regarding the individual worthiness of each of the above names when it comes to induction into the Rock Hall (and it’s a fairly controversial list based on social media reaction so far), here’s who I think should be inducted from the list based on influence and overall impact, followed by my prediction for who will be inducted.

On a personal note, I believe Todd Rundgren should have been inducted into the rock hall 25 years ago but he’s made it abundantly clear that he has no interest in participating and I think the Hall should honor his wish.

Who should be inducted?

Tina Turner – It’s a no-brainer and kind of amazing that she hasn’t already been inducted as a solo artist. She’s a legendary and inspirational artist whose solo career should be feted with an induction. 30 years ago, Tina was inducted as part of Ike and Tina Turner.

Carole King - So “Tapestry” probably isn’t the first album that comes to mind when you want to rock but when you think of the dozens of classic songs she wrote with lyricist Gerry Goffin, including “The Loco-Motion,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Up on The Roof,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” and “One Fine Day” to cite only six, yes, she should have been inducted many years ago.

The Go-Gos - The recent Showtime documentary has contributed to a resurgence of awareness and popularity for this influential group of ‘80s ladies. At various times, artists including Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and members of Social Distortion and Tears for Fears have cited them as an influence. Also consider the fact that they were the first all-female band with self-composed and performed material to top the Billboard album chart.

Iron Maiden – They’ve been together for more than 45 years and have influenced generations of musicians, from Metallica to Lady Gaga. I’d like to see Rage Against The Machine inducted into the Hall at some point but these guys should go in first.

Foo Fighters – Head Foo Dave Grohl is the contemporary human embodiment of rock and roll. In a way, he’s stepped into the role of elder rock statesman (even though he’s only 52 – and that ain’t old!) once held by Pete Townshend. Dave lives for rock like Pete used to; that’s not a knock against Pete, he’ll always be the man, but he’s no longer the guy who believes that rock could save the world. Dave still does.

New York Dolls – Glam and punk had a baby and its name was the New York Dolls. In their own way, this band is like Big Star (and don’t get me started on the fact that the Hall hasn’t inducted them yet. Seriously, come on) in that they’ve never sold large quantities of records but we can see and hear their influence in a variety of artists and genres. The Sex Pistols, The Smiths, The Clash, The Pretenders, KISS, Guns N’ Roses and The Ramones have all cited the Dolls as a major influence.

Who WILL be inducted?

Jay-Z - He’s an industry darling and a virtual shoo-in to be inducted.

Chaka Kahn – I nearly had her on my list of ‘should be’ inductees, because she definitely deserves it. From her early years as part of Rufus to her solo work, she’s covered a lot of ground while selling boatloads of records and influencing countless artists who followed. Yes, the “Queen of Funk” should be inducted.

Fela Kuti – Brian Eno, George Clinton, Paul McCartney and Alabama Shakes have all cited Fela as an influence at some point. That, combined with the fact that he’s a political activist will probably carry a lot of weight. I predict he’ll be inducted this year.

Foo Fighters – They’re great, they meet the criteria, they should be in. Dave Grohl’s speech will no doubt be loose and hilarious, and imagine the blistering set that will follow.

Rage Against The Machine – I’d be OK with this and I predict it will happen, plus “Killing in the Name Of” is still an incredible piece of music.

Mary J. Blige – She’s still enormously popular 30 years into her career and her influence has been vast. I expect she’ll be inducted with this first nomination.

Last modified on Wednesday, 17 February 2021 07:56


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