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There’s something quite wrong with this year’s fan voting for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Look, I realize that music is a highly subjective thing and as such inevitably leads to arguments. The final standings of the fan voting for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a perfect example. I’ll go first.

Again this is The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What do you make of how the fan voting ended? (Keep kind mind that anyone could vote every day throughout the eligibility period, so the most motivated fans could stuff the ballot boxes.)

  1. George Michael, 1,040,000 votes (Not Rock)
  2. Cyndi Lauper, 928,000 (Not Rock)
  3. Warren Zevon, 634,000  (Rock, but an awful lot of votes for an artist of his fame level)
  4. Iron Maiden, 449,000 (Definitely rock. Admission overdue)
  5. Soundgarden, 427,000 (Ditto)

The also rans:

  • Willie Nelson
  • Kate Bush (A travesty. Long overdue, Fourth attempt.)
  • Joy Division/New Order (Same)
  • Sheryl Crow
  • The Spinners
  • Rage Against the Machine (Seriously? Where were the Rage fans? This was their fifth shot.)
  • White Stripes (Again, what?)
  • Missy Elliot
  • A Tribe Called Quest

Regardless, the five top finishers of the fan vote get will be dumped in with the rest of the votes from the 1000+ members of The Hall.

A prediction: Iron Maiden will get in as with a “Special Achievement Award,” much like Judas Priest was inducted a few years ago. This is the Hall’s way of saying “Yeah, we know they should be inducted even though the voters didn’t have the smarts to put them in.

We’ll know about the Class of 2023 in about a week.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38431 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

10 thoughts on “There’s something quite wrong with this year’s fan voting for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

  • There are so many ways to rig voting like this. Multiple logins, using VPN’s to change IP addresses to hide where you are, bots…and as I have said before, it it isn’t rock being inducted, maybe they need to change to the name to Music Hall of Fame?

    • I’ve been thinking this for a while. Call it the music hall of fame and have different wings for music genres. A rock wing, pop music wing, rap, etc. I think it would actually give new life to it and make it more interesting. Instead we keep having the same debates over and over and it will only get worse as there are less ground breaking rock bands.

  • Gene Simmons called it right from the start: when you induct Madonna and rap acts, it’s not rock. This is a hall of fame for popular musics – with definite biases on who gets in. Hard and progressive rock acts are passed by all of the time, and the five act maximum doesn’t work when you have a wide expansion of musical acts beyond the initial years.

    That Willie Nelson was nominated in time for his 90th tells you who’s automatically getting in first this year.

  • I have no interest at all in award ceremonies (how many non-celebrity based industries have them?) and the whole concept of Halls of Fame is anathema to me anyway, but to quote Duke Ellington, “There are two types of music – good music and everything else”.

    If there must be a hall of fame for Music genres, amalgamate all of the other music halls of fame, change the name and move on

  • First, the RRHOF is irrelevant. If it ever ‘mattered’ it ceased to long ago.

    But, with the RRHOF long ago having inducted other genres for inclusion, it was probably inevitable that the fan vote may be also become a lot more wide-ranging too.

    I have no problem with this but as I said first, the RRHOF is irrelevant.

  • I think that fans have gotten completely fed up with the Rock Hall holding a fan vote and then ignoring its results. I know I have. Yes won the fan vote, and the result was ignored. It wasn’t until after founding member Chris Squire’s death that Yes was inducted. Pat Benatar won the fan vote, and that was ignored for a year or two as well. It’s a joke. If the Hall stood by the artists that people voted for, and they didn’t require you to vote for five artists, and they didn’t so narrowly pre-seed the candidate list, the fan vote would probably get a lot more fan attention. And, yeah, the Hall’s definition of “rock” is way over broad, at least in my opinion.

  • The only thing I can add is that Maiden has sold the most albums, and produced the most albums; those influenced by Maiden span all genres of rock, metal (Metallica), pop (Lady Gaga), and country (Brad Paisley) have been influenced by Maiden. Largest fan base, most iconic mascot, etc., etc. It shouldn’t be even close. If we go by the RRHOF’s own criteria then Maiden should get the most votes. Something definitely broken here. DollyParton gets in before Iron Maiden…LOL.

  • I think you way under appreciate Zevon. He was an amazing songwriter.
    New Order is not in already? Couldn’t agree with you more on that one.
    White Stripes arguably had the best song of the decade in the 2000s, so with you on that one too.

  • How much credibility do they really have without J Geils, B-52s and a bunch of others who have had staying power and led important branches of R&R? Too many personal gripes keeping worthy ones out? Too reactionary each year?

  • The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has been a joke for a very long time, with inductees from Country, RAP, Motown, R&B, and Hip-Hop, meanwhile groups like Boston Bad Company, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Blue Öyster Cult, Jethro Tull, The Guess Who, Just to name a few have totally snubbed in favor of groups & people that ARE NOT ROCK & ROLL!! . What part of Rock & Roll is the genre nobody understands? Start a new one called the Music Hall of Fame and leave the Rock & Roll Hall of fame alone!!!


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