2024 Rock Hall Inductees: The Surprises and Snubs

2024 Rock Hall Inductees: The Surprises and Snubs

2024 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees: Snubs, Surprises, Long Shots

2024 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees: Snubs, Surprises, Long Shots

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tried out a whole new way of announcing the class of 2024 tonight (April 21) during a themed episode of ABC’s American Idol, during which the season 22 hopefuls sang songs by past inductees. A record eight artists will be enshrined this year, with Mary J. Blige, Cher, Dave Matthews Band, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Kool & the Gang, Ozzy Osbourne, and A Tribe Called Quest making the cut out of the 15 nominees announced in February.

Cher, Frampton, Foreigner and Kool & the Gang were on the ballot for the first time this year despite being eligible for decades, continuing the Hall’s turn towards recognizing commercial hitmakers it had previously ignored in favor of nominating newly eligible acts who debuted in the 1990s.

The Oct. 19 induction will be held at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse; it will be streamed live on Disney+, be available on Hulu the next day, and air as a separate ABC special at a later date. Below is a look at some of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubs, surprises and longshot winners.

Foreigner’s Campaign: Traditionally, the Rock Hall selection process has not been subject to splashy Oscar-style “for your consideration” campaigns on behalf of the artists. Some rock stars are happy to appear indifferent or dismissive of the Hall, while others welcome the honor without openly clamoring for it. After Foreigner was nominated for the first time in February, however, the Mick Jones-led mainstream rockers embarked on an aggressive campaign to make the case for their induction. Jones’ famous stepson, “Uptown Funk” hitmaker Mark Ronson, led the effort, posting videos with Hall of Famers such as Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl endorsing the enshrinement of the “Hot Blooded” outfit.


Lou Gramm and Mick Jones of Foreigner (Credit: Rick Diamond / Getty Images)
Jones revealed on Instagram in February that he’s been battling Parkinson’s Disease, which explained the urgency. Given that the campaign was successful, perhaps video endorsements will become a more typical part of the Rock Hall hype cycle in the future. As for who might perform, Jones has been the only member of Foreigner’s classic ‘70s and ‘80s lineup for more than 20 years, but original lead singer Lou Gramm and drummer Dennis Elliott have joined the band onstage as recently as 2018, though, so an induction ceremony reunion seems likely.

The Peoples’ Choice: The Hall has held an official online poll of nominees every year since 2012, with the winner getting one extra vote towards their qualification. Dave Matthews Band made a sort of history in 2020 when they became the only artist to win the “fan vote” without getting inducted, but the Virginia-reared act and their army of faithful followers returned with a vengeance. When the poll closed last week, DMB were once again leading the vote and this time made the grade. Violinist Boyd Tinsley, who exited in 2018 amid a sexual harassment lawsuit, will be inducted with the band, but it remains to be seen whether he will appear at the ceremony.

Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band (Credit: Rich Polk / Getty Images On Location)
Hip-Hop In The Hall: Up to this point, hip-hoppers in the Hall have fallen into two categories. All the 1980s artists have been groups (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, N.W.A), while all the 1990s acts have been solo rappers (2Pac, the Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Eminem, Missy Elliott). A Tribe Called Quest, the Queens crew that made five albums from 1990 to 1998 as well as a reunion LP in 2016, broke that pattern as the first ‘90s group to be inducted (and will likely remain so for a while, as their only serious competition, Outkast, have yet to be nominated). The Hall has never welcomed more than one hip-hop artist in a year, with Tribe winning over this year’s other rap nominees, Eric B. & Rakim. However, R&B superstar Mary J. Blige has often been dubbed “The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” for her use of hip-hop production and occasional rapping.

Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Phife Dawg and Q-TIp of A Tribe Called Quest in July 1991 in New York (Credit: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)

Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Phife Dawg and Q-TIp of A Tribe Called Quest in July 1991 in New York (Credit: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Ozzy’s Double Induction: Heavy metal has never been a high priority for the Hall, with legends such as Black Sabbath enduring eight nominations during a decade of eligibility before finally making the cut in 2006. In recent years, ‘80s pop metal crossover acts such as Def Leppard and Bon Jovi have been inducted over heavier bands like Iron Maiden. This year, Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne, perhaps the closest thing to the living embodiment of heavy metal, will be inducted as a solo artist and will become the 27th musician to be inducted multiple times. The most respected sideman of Osbourne’s solo career, the late guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoads, received the Musical Excellence award in 2021.

Cher’s Long Road: Cher had been eligible for 34 years before finally getting nominated for the first time this year. After rising to fame in the ‘60s as part of the duo Sonny & Cher with husband Sonny Bono, Cher became the prototype for the modern mononymous pop icon, reinventing her sound and image several times, jumping to television and then film and winning an Oscar in 1988 for Moonstruck. Her remarkable career longevity helped her become the first woman over the age of 50 to top the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999 with “Believe,” and last year’s “DJ Play a Christmas Song” made Cher the first artist to hit No. 1 on at least one Billboard chart in seven different decades.


Cher in 1977 (Credit: Harry Langdon / Getty Images)
The Snubs: The artists nominated in February who didn’t go all the way this year are Mariah Carey, Eric B. & Rakim, Jane’s Addiction, Lenny Kravitz, Oasis, Sinéad O’Connor and Sade. Jane’s Addiction, the only band with something resembling an underground punk pedigree, lost their second nomination bid as the Hall increasingly emphasizes populist classic rockers and other genres rather than critically respected alternative bands. Carey’s first nomination was unsuccessful, but just as her holiday staple “All I Want For Christmas Is You” returns to the top of the charts every December, she will surely have other chances to be inducted.

The Other Awards: In addition to the eight inductees, the Hall announced the recipients of its other 2024 awards. The Musical Influence award will go to three blues musicians: Alabama’s “Houng Dog” originator Big Mama Thornton, and two British guitarists who helped spread the popularity of the blues in the U.K. in the ‘60s, Alexis Korner and John Mayall. The Ahmet Ertegun award, given to non-musicians who’ve made significant contributions to the music business, will go to longtime Motown executive Suzanne de Passe.

The Musical Excellence award, formerly the Sidemen Award, has become a more broad and vague category in recent years. Increasingly, the award, which is selected by a small committee, has become a tactic for recognizing acts who’ve been nominated for the Hall proper without getting all the way to induction, such as Judas Priest in 2022 and Chaka Khan in 2023.

That’s the case once again this year for a couple of recipients. MC5 have been nominated six times from 2003 to 2022 without getting inducted, and weren’t nominated this year after the death of guitarist Wayne Kramer. They’ll receive the Musical Excellence award this year alongside Dionne Warwick, who was nominated in 2021 and 2022 and was sampled on a chart-topping Doja Cat song a few months ago. Jimmy Buffett, who passed away last September without ever being nominated for the Hall, will also get a Musical Excellence award along with late Motown songwriter Norman Whitfield. Given that O’Connor’s posthumous nomination didn’t result in an induction this year, it wouldn’t surprise to see her receive a Musical Excellence award next year.

To see our running list of the top 100 greatest rock stars of all time, click here.

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