2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Who, in your opinion, should be included in the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class? The nominees are listed below. Vote for as many as you want, and tell us why the HoF doesn’t know what they’re doing below.

  • Mary J. Blige (1st time)
  • Kate Bush
  • Devo
  • Foo Fighters (1st time)
  • The Go-Go’s (1st time)
  • Iron Maiden (1st time)
  • JAY-Z (1st time)
  • Chaka Khan
  • Carole King (already in for songwriting)
  • Fela Kuti (1st time)
  • LL Cool J
  • New York Dolls
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Tina Turner (already in as part of Ike & Tina Turner)
  • Dionne Warwick (1st time)

0 voters

There’s no one on the list that I think is totally undeserving, but the ones that stand out to me:


  • Devo: these guys created a whole new genre of music, like punk for nerds
  • The Go-Go’s: it’s hard to remember now how crazy it was back then to have an all-women band
  • Iron Maiden: not my favorite band, but their influence is unquestionable
  • Jay-Z: no-brainer
  • Carol King: it’s ridiculous she’s not in already

No / Not Yet

  • Foo Fighters: I love their music, but I still can’t think of them as anything bur Nirvana-lite
  • LL Cool J: good music, but kind of a prick. And there are too many other rap and hop-hop artists that should be in before him
  • Todd Rundgren: he gets a lifetime service award from me for his overall contributions to music, but doesn’t make the cut as a performer

I’m on the fence with Rage Against the Machine. They were pioneers with political activism as a component of rock and their music was awesome, but I’m not sure it’s HoF level.

Carol King is already in the HOF as a writer. This nomination is as an artist, and I’m not sure she deserves to be in for that. The Go-Gos were pioneers, but they never struck me as much more that an excellent pop group. I’m not sure that qualifies for the Hall.

I’m with you on Devo, Jay-Z, and Iron Maiden.

I think I’d probably give votes to Kate Bush and I want to vote for the New York Dolls but their run was so short I’m not sure they should qualify. Mary J Blige was also a pioneer.

I have a friend who’s a huge Duran Duran fan. I have absolutely no skin in the game, but I’m curious what the argument against them getting inducted is. They seem to have the resume for it. Any thoughts from the music crowd?

They sold a ton of records, and were popular as hell for a couple of years, thanks in no small part to MTV, and their being very photogenic.

The argument against them, if there is one, is one of influence: how much of an influence did they have on music during their heyday, and to what extent are they seen as key influencers for later performers? (I’m not sure of the answer to that, but I would not be surprirsed if their “influence” was primarily in the look of bands and videos in the '80s, and that they did not wind up being strongly influential to later groups. But, hey, I could be mistaken.)

I couldn’t believe it when I found out recently that Kate Bush was only 13 when she wrote The Man With The Child In His Eyes. It’s such an incredibly beautiful and accomplished piece of music and listening to the lyrics you can also imagine how truthful it might have been to the life of a 13 year old girl.

He’s very understanding,
And he’s so aware of all my situations.
And when I stay up late,
He’s always waiting, but I feel him hesitate.
Oh, I’m so worried about my love.
They say, “No, no, it won’t last forever.”

The other amazing thing about her is that, when she released her album at the age of 16, she stood up to the (male dominated) music industry bosses and forced them to release Wuthering Heights as the first single. They thought it would be a lesson to her when it didn’t perform. It stayed at number one for weeks and she was probably the first female musician in the UK to have total control of her career.

That seems to be a big part of his argument - they were very influential in terms of utilizing technology and in marketing their brand. I’d think that would be a good supplemental argument, but doesn’t have much to do with the actual music they were creating (which I’m not at all qualified to make a statement on).

The latter part of that seems to be the argument that eventually got Kiss into the Hall, for what it’s worth. (NB: I don’t think that Kiss should be in there, because musically, they weren’t particularly important.)

I think Duran Duran deserves entry for their music alone. To “true” rock-and-rollers in the 80s, their music seemed like simple bubble-gum, in some part because of their flashy videos and teenage heartthrob images. But it was damn good music and they were arguably one of the biggest of the new wave bands back then. They showed a range not always apparent if you only saw them on MTV.

Fela Kuti; Chaka Khan; Tina Turner. Perhaps Dionne Warwick.

Many may not be aware of the late Fela Kuti. In Nigeria he’s a national treasure. As well known for his stands against apartheid & other political issues as for his music. He led large bands and was a stellar musician & songwriter himself. Great musicians played in his bands. His music may not be to everyone’s taste but he is well respected by other musicians and certainly deserving of a place in the hall. Head & shoulders above many on the list.
Chaka Khan has been with us for a long while. Not as well known in rock 'n roll as in jazz circles. You know that anyone who can get called up to sing with the likes of Return To Forever has got to be good.
Tina Turner. Cause she did as good without Ike as with him.

They were awesome. Seven and the Ragged Tiger is a proper classic album. Some great bass lines on that record.

Sorry to sidetrack but I cannot let this pass without comment.

I met LL Cool J several years ago (I’ve shared this story before) and he was incredibly gracious and caring when he didn’t have to be. No cameras were rolling, nobody within earshot, just he and I having a conversation about a sick child. His concern was genuine.

(I am not at all a fan of his music, if that matters)


I was thinking more of his rampant sexism and denigration of women. Yeah, 90’s rap (and later) isn’t exactly the place to go for progressive views on women, but he was worse than average.

Jethro Tull not listed. That’s hilarious.

The definition of Rock and Roll has been stretched to fit just about everyone, and is now meaningless. How about just ‘Music Hall of Fame’?

I’ve never known LL Cool J to be sexist or to denigrate women. Maybe on “Big Ole Butt”, but I’m sure LL would probably consider that to be the worst record he ever made. Certainly, LL has not displayed anything remotely approaching the sexism and misogyny of other rappers.

I was thinking the same thing - you can quibble on the “rock and roll” point (although LL Cool J ain’t rock and roll either) but the Father of Afrobeat is a huge figure in the history of popular music, even if he doesn’t loom particularly large in America. The man is a musical legend, if not a particularly stable individual (and also, he had like 27 wives).

As for the others, there’s none I particularly object to and a few, like Kate Bush, that I’m surprised aren’t in already.

Yep. And then once that is done, maybe they can open up a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Stealing the joke from Greg Brown: if you listen to Fela’s “Zombie” and then the Cranberries “Zombie”, it’s hard to believe that it’s the same song.

Kate Bush stands out for me. Fascinating artist and highly influential.

She was 19 when she released her album and first hit single.