Rock and Roll Hall of Fame plans induction

Radiohead, The Cure, Stevie Nicks among 2019 honorees

Written By Amanda Myers, Co-Features Editor

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame may not be as prestigious or highly regarded as it was in the previous century, but that doesn’t mean there’s not renewed interest and debate every time the committee announces the year’s inductees.

The 2019 class has sparked conversation in regards to diversity in both race, gender and genre with a lineup of artists from different backgrounds and time frames: The Cure, Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Roxy Music and The Zombies. The ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center in New York on March 29 and will be televised on HBO April 27.

Though there is a lengthy time frame before the special, it will be available to a mass audience. Expect to see captured moments abuzz on Twitter and the rest of social media. This rings true for one Harry Styles who will be inducting Nicks.

Styles and Nicks have had a gushy professional love affair ever since he invited her down to a show at the Troubadour to duet on “Landslide” in 2017. Styles was also there to join Fleetwood Mac on “The Chain” when they were honored as the Musicares’ Person of the Year in 2018.

People have questioned why a female artist wasn’t asked to nominate Nicks, but Nicks specifically chose Styles given their bond. She even called him her “adopted son” in a recent Rolling Stone interview.

Radiohead proposed another form of contention considering that they have no interest in the honor. Singer Thom Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood have both rebuked the Hall of Fame. Greenwood plainly told one outlet of the induction: “I don’t care.” Members of Radiohead have never been one to rely on statues for validation of their art, but for some of this year’s artist, it serves as a reminder of their hard-earned success in the business.

Def Leppard has been a band that’s posed the question of “Why not?” when people ponder on their absence from the institution. The 80s metal outfit was never warmly welcomed by critics, even when they did have albums and countless hits climbing up the charts. Their story is similar to that of a band like KISS: a band with legions of fans that other artists and critics in the industry refused to take seriously. Queen’s Brian May will induct Def Leppard.

The Cure also serves as a long overdue reminder that even though you have a worthy niche in music and can break outside of that with monumental hits, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be warmly welcomed into a prestigious club. The band’s brand of gothic/alternative rock is finally getting its due. Perhaps this opens the door for Nine Inch Nails who have been snubbed in recent years.

Jackson also crosses the threshold of genre to claim a statue at this year’s ceremony. People will often counter the inclusion of a pop or rap artist with claims that they don’t fall in the rock and roll category. The Hall of Fame has blurred those dividing lines in recent years with the induction of N.W.A. and Run DMC and seems to only be continuing that push in the future. Rock and roll has fallen out of just a genre and more an attitude and form of expression by today’s standards.

Other artists in the 2019 class include Roxy Music and The Zombies who also feel like they should have been inducted years ago. Who knows how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will shift their criteria going forward and who will be in next year’s class, but there will always be people quick to comment on the long debated institution.