Commentary: Time to rock the Hall of Fame vote


Photo credit/ Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Derek Jensen

Every year the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction takes place at the museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Briana Ryan, Editor-in-Chief

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2021 nominees includes a who’s who of music royalty.

The list of nominees includes the following artists: Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, Mary J. Blige, Iron Maiden, Tina Turner, The Go-Go’s, Rage Against the Machine, Kate Bush, Devo, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Todd Rundgren and Dionne Warwick.

To decide a final list of the artists that will be inducted, the Hall sends ballots to over 1,000 members of the music industry. The artists who receive the most votes will be announced in May and formally inducted in the fall.

Fans can also vote for their top five artists on the Hall’s website. So, here are my picks for who I believe should be inducted this year.

Tina Turner
This is not Tina Turner’s first appearance on a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ballot, she was inducted in 1991 alongside former husband Ike Turner. Considering the duo’s tumultuous and abusive relationship, it is an insult to Turner’s talent that she has not yet been recognized for her solo work. Turner’s powerhouse vocals and dominating stage presence showed that she was the ultimate performer. Her 1984 album, “Private Dancer,” still stands the test of time and serves as the ultimate soundtrack to female empowerment. Turner is by far my top choice to be inducted this year.

Carole King
This is also Carole King’s second time appearing on a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ballot, after being inducted in 1990 with former husband Gerry Goffin for the duo’s songwriting. King’s songwriting is nothing short of perfection. She can write songs that get to the heart of her innermost feelings while creating an intimate atmosphere. In the past, King has said that she hated the hoarseness of her voice. However, she would not be Carole King without it. For me, her hoarseness is an extension of the emotions she is expressing. In King’s career-defining album, “Tapestry,” her vocal and writing talent is on display. Younger generations are noticing King’s talent through the Broadway musical “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” So, it would be a shame not to induct her this year.

The Foo Fighters
After the demise of Nirvana, drummer Dave Grohl was searching for a creative outlet. So began the rise of The Foo Fighters. I am always wary when musicians try to switch gears, but it is hard to deny the appeal of The Foo Fighters. Throughout the years, the band has maintained a standing as a constant figure in rock music. The group’s album, “The Colour and the Shape,” has proven to be a prime example of music that remains timeless years after its release. I do not think The Foo Fighters always receive the acclaim they deserve, but I believe that will change when they are inducted into the Hall.

The Go-Go’s
The Go-Go’s shook up the music world in 1981 when they released their debut album “Beauty and the Beat.” Now it is time for them to shake up the ballot for the Hall. This band of renegades not only played their own instruments but also wrote all their own songs. In an era where music, specifically rock, was dominated by men, The Go-Go’s proved that they could go the distance. The Go-Go’s are more than just a barrier-breaking band. Their music has represented those fun-loving moments in life. I challenge anyone to name a summer when they did not dance to “Vacation.”

Mary J. Blige
Every year the Hall receives criticism for including artists that do not necessarily perform in the rock genre. This year is no exception. Mary J. Blige’s nomination received criticism since she is predominantly an R&B artist. However, I believe that rock is much more than the songs sung or the instruments played. It is also an attitude. A highlighted aspect of Blige’s talent is her songwriting. She has the unique ability to pour all her pain into her music and still maintain a tough exterior. Her music has become a soundtrack for people trying to rise above their current situation to achieve greatness. After all, Vice President Kamala Harris walked out to Blige’s “Work That” when President Joe Biden won the 2020 election. Now it is time for Blige to continue achieving greatness by being inducted into the Hall.

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Twitter: @BrianaRyanTWW