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The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame - The 2021 Nominee Class!

In a year when nothing has been normal and we are all missing live music, we finally have a distraction - the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees!



This year's nominations came out a bit later than usual, but the process will work the same as in past years. That includes giving fans the ability to vote.


This year's inductees will be announced in May. The 2021 induction ceremony is scheduled to take place in Cleveland, OH some time this fall. Of course, last year's induction ceremony was forced to be held virtually because of the pandemic. It's yet to be seen what will happen this year.


I'm going to take a look at all 16 of this year's nominees. I'll give you some background on them and what my thoughts are on whether or not they will get in. Who do I think the final inductees will be? Keep reading to find out!


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The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees

There are 16 nominees this year. Five of those nominees will voted into the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Seven of the 16 nominees are on the ballot for the first time. Three of the inductees - Tina Turner, Carole King and Dave Grohl - would be inducted twice if inducted.


Here are the 16 artists in alphabetical order and my thoughts on each.


Mary J. Blige


Photo credit: deadline.com


Eligible Since: 2018


Number of Nominations: 1


Why She Should Get In: Mary J. Blige has released 13 albums, eight of which have gone multi-platinum. She's won nine Grammy's, four American Music Awards, and twelve Billboard Music Awards. In addition, she's sold 80 million records worldwide. In 2004, Blige launched her own record label - Matriarch Records. Blige is referred to as the "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul", as she's credited with being a big influence on combining the two genres.


Will She Get In: I think this is an example of "someday", but not today, particularly when you look at some of the others in this year's class.


Kate Bush


Photo Credit: The New Yorker


Eligible Since: 2004


Number of Nominations: 2


Why She Should Get In: Bush had her first chart-topping song - "Wuthering Heights" - in 1978 at the age of 19. She was the first female artist to have a UK number one hit with a self-written song. She's produced all of her own studio albums since the 1982 release of "The Dreaming". Her style has influenced a number of other artists. Bush is best known for her 1985 single "Running Up That Hill" as well as her duo with Peter Gabriel - "Don't Give Up".


Will She Get In: Personally, I love Kate Bush. But I don't think she's Hall of Fame material. She never really gained traction in the U.S. like she did in the UK.


Devo


Photo Credit: Blue Raven Entertainment


Eligible Since: 2003


Number of Nominations: 2


Why They Should Get In: Devo had commercial success with their 1980 hit single "Whip It", but some of their earlier music was some of their most innovative and influenced a number of new wave and alternative rock artists. In addition, Devo were pioneers of the music video, with "Whip It" being a staple on MTV in the music channel's early years.


Will They Get In: This is a tough one. While I appreciate the fact that they are extremely innovative, I'm not sure that there is anything that distinguishes them enough to be part of the Hall of Fame.


Foo Fighters


Photo Credit: Billboard


Eligible Since: 2021


Number of Nominations: 1


Why They Should Get In: Foo Fighters have won 12 Grammy's, including Album of the Year four times. The band has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. They are arguably one of the biggest rock bands out there right now, easily selling out arenas every time they tour.


Will They Get In: Not this year. While I think they ultimately will get in, I don't think Foo Fighters are a first year ballot band.


The Go-Go's


Photo Credit: Vogue


Eligible Since: 2006


Number of Nominations: 1


Why They Should Get In: The Go-Go's are the first all-female band to top the Billboard charts that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments. Their 1981 debut album - "Beauty and the Beast" - is considered by many to be one of the cornerstone albums of new wave music.


Will They Get In: This is another tough one, as I can make an argument for The Go-Go's just based on them paving the way for other all-female bands. But I don't think their overall resume is strong enough. "Beauty and the Beast" was huge and broke barriers, but they never followed it up with anything that had equal impact.


Iron Maiden


Photo Credit: Loudwire


Eligible Since: 2005


Number of Nominations: 1


Why They Should Get In: Iron Maiden were pioneers of the new wave of British heavy metal. Over their career they've released 40 albums and sold over 100 million copies of those albums worldwide. In addition, Iron Maiden has played over 2,000 live shows. They are one of the most influential and successful heavy metal bands in history.


Will They Get In: Yes! And if they don't, it's a shame. In fact, it's already a shame that they have been eligible since 2005 and this is the first time they've been nominated.


Jay-Z

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Roc Nation


Eligible Since: 2021


Number of Nominations: 1


Why He Should Get In: Jay-Z is thought of as one of the most influential hip hop artists of all time. He is also often considered one of the greatest rappers. He's sold over 50 million albums and has won 22 Grammy's, which is the most of any rapper. Jay-Z holds the record for the most number one albums on the Billboard 200 charts by a solo artist.


Will He Get In: I think he will eventually, but this class is too strong for him to get in on his first year of eligibility.


Chaka Khan

Photo Credit: The Hollywood Bowl


Eligible Since: 2004


Number of Nominations: 3


Why She Should Get In: Chaka Khan started her career as the lead singer for Rufus (who have also been nominated for the Hall of Fame in the past). She's known as the "Queen of Funk" and she was the first R&B artist to have a crossover hit with a rapper with her 1984 single "I Feel For You". Chaka Khan has won 10 Grammy's and sold 75 million records.


Will She Get In: This is a tough one. While I feel that she has certainly made a mark in the industry, my gut just doesn't tell me she's had a large enough impact to be in the Hall of Fame. However, the powers that be in the HOF are clearly trying to tell us something, since she's been nominated 3 times and Rufus has been nominated 4 times.


Carole King

Photo Credit: Rolling Stone


Eligible Since: 1985


Number of Nominations: 2


Why She Should Be In: King is one of the most successful songwriters of her time. She's written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Top 100 charts. On top of her huge success as a songwriter (for which she has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame), she's also had huge success and impact as an artist. King's breakthrough album - "Tapestry" - just celebrated its 50 year anniversary. It was number one on the charts for 15 weeks after its release, and remained on the charts for six years. King has made 25 solo albums, sold over 75 million records and won four Grammy's.


Should She Be In: Absolutely! King's impact as an artist is just as big as her impact as a songwriter. She deserves to be in for both.


Fela Kuti

Photo Credit: The Guardian


Eligible Since: 1993


Number of Nominations: 1


Why He Should Be In: Kuti is probably the artist on this list that you are least familiar with. He's considered a pioneer in Afrobeat, which is an African genre of music that combines Yoruba and Afro-Cuban style music with funk and jazz. In addition to his contributions to the music world, Kuti was an advocate for his home country of Nigeria as well, by being outspoken and critical of Nigeria's military juntas.


Will He Get In: While Kuti's contribution to the Afrobeat genre of music is significant, I don't know that his resume justifies induction this year. I also think the lack of recognition hurts him.


LL Cool J

Photo Credit: Terence Patrick


Eligible Since: 2010


Number of Nominations: 6


Why He Should Get In: LL Cool J was among the first hip hop acts - along with Run DMC - to have mainstream success. He was the first hip hop act to appear on American Bandstand. He's released 13 studio albums and won two Grammy's. LL Cool J is also the first rapper to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.


Will He Get In: While LL Cool J started his career in music, he quickly moved into acting and has focused on that more than his music. While he certainly was a pioneer in hip hop and rap, I think most people think of him now as an actor first and a musician second. I think that will hinder his ability to get into the HOF.


New York Dolls

Photo Credit: Billboard


Eligible Since: 1999


Number of Nominations: 2


Why The Should Get In: The New York Dolls were one of the first punk bands. They never had a lot of commercial success and their original line-up didn't last long. But their first two albums - "New York Dolls" and "Too Much Too Soon" - have become cult hits in rock. In addition, their costumes and look on stage were hugely influential in the glam rock genre. Bands like the Sex Pistols, KISS and the Ramones have all cited the New York Dolls as being influential on their careers.


Should They Get In: Yes. It's long overdue. They are a true example of a band that started a whole genre and influenced other artists of all types.


Rage Against The Machine

Photo Credit: Brian Rasic/Getty


Eligible Since: 2018


Number of Nominations: 3


Why They Should Get In: RATM formed in 1991. Their debut album in 1992 - "Rage Against the Machine" - was a commercial and critical success. It's often named as one of the greatest albums of all time. During the height of their popularity, RATM was very influential and helped develop the nu metal genre. The band has also been very vocal about their political views throughout their career.


Should They Get In: I think this is a tough one. I'm going to say no because of some of the others on this year's list, but it wouldn't be surprising to me if they ended up getting in. I think their 8 year hiatus has hurt them. If their 2020 reunion tour would have happened, I think they would have had a better chance.


Todd Rundgren

Photo Credit: Lynn Goldsmith


Eligible Since: 1996


Number of Nominations: 3


Why He Should Get In: Rundgren started his career in the 1960s with the band Nazz. By the 70s he had left the band and started pursuing a solo career. Rundgren had a number of solo hits and his 1983 single "Bang the Drum All Day" can be heard at sporting events to this day. Rundgren is a pioneer in electronic music, progressive rock, music videos, computer software and Internet music delivery.


Will He Get In: This is another tough one. I'm going to say yes for two reasons. First, the HOF is supposed to honor people that are groundbreakers in the music industry in general. Rundgren not only has a strong resume for his music, but he's been a pioneer in so many other areas. Second, the HOF has nominated him three years in a row now. That's telling me they want him in.


Tina Turner

Photo Credit: Rolling Stone


Eligible Since: 1999


Number of Nominations: 1


Why She Should Get In: Tina Turner started her career as half of a duo with her husband Ike Turner - The Ike & Tina Turner Revue. When Ike's personality and reputation got the best of him, Tina Turner went out and launched a solo career that was even more successful. Her success in the 1980s is considered one of the greatest comebacks in music history. She's sold over 100 million records and won 12 Grammy's.


Will She Get In: Yes! The HOF has publicly stated that they want to see more female artists in the HOF. Who better to have in than the "Queen of Rock n' Roll"!


Dionne Warwick

Photo Credit: The Wall Street Journal


Eligible Since: 1989


Number of Nominations: 1


Why She Should Be In: Between 1955 and 1999, Warwick was among the 40 biggest hit makers of the time. She is one of the most charted female vocalists of all time. She's sold over 25 million albums worldwide.


Will She Get In: I don't think so. Warwick is a legend and her voice is amazing. But she just doesn't rise to the level of HOF material for me.


So there you have it! My five picks for induction into the HOF from this year's list of nominees are: Iron Maiden, Carole King, the New York Dolls, Todd Rundgren and Tina Turner. My close runner up is Rage Against The Machine.

Will I be right? We'll have to wait until May to find out!


Who are your Rock Hall of Fame favorites? Who do you think should be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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