2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

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Happy hump day, dudes and dudettes!

Yesterday, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH released their list of 2021 nominees. Let’s break the list down!

This is the order that the artists currently stand in the voting. If your favorite is at the bottom, get to voting!

Tina Turner

The 81-year-old megastar looks like a shoo-in for the Hall this year. Tina Turner is a 12-time Grammy winner and has sold over 100 million records, making her one of the best-selling artists of all-time.

Turner also broke barriers as the first black artist AND the first female to grace the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.

She is best known for her singles Proud Mary, What’s Love Got To Do With It, and The Best.

Here is Tina Turner singing Proud Mary live at Wembley in 2000.


Foo Fighters

Formed in 1994 by former Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl as a solo project, the Foo Fighters picked up a few more members, and have released hit-after-hit since.

The rock band has won 12 Grammys and have just released a new album, Medicine At Midnight.

Dave Grohl is a true rockstar and he is someone I have always admired. I am truly excited for this nomination. He is one person I would absolutely love to sit down with and just talk about music.

Here are a couple of my favorite Dave Grohl moments:

How awesome is that?
Look at me, motherf*cker! Look at me…look at me! Get the F*ck out of my show right now!”
I have done this…minus the guitar.

Carole King

Quite possibly the greatest songwriter of our generation, Carole King has either written or co-written 118 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

118. That’s ridiculous. Wow.

King has 4 Grammys and has also been inducted to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. In 2014, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, written by Douglas McGrath, opened on Broadway. The show starred Jessie Mueller as Carole King. You know you made an impact when someone writes a musical about you.

Here is Carole King singing Natural Woman live in Oakland, 1972. Also the highlights from the Broadway production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.


Iron Maiden

This British heavy-metal band was formed in 1975 by Steve Harris, the band’s bassist.

Iron Maiden has sold well over 100 million records, worldwide…which is crazy considering the minimal air-time they received.

In a 2016 article on Loudersound, Paul Branigan hilariously explains how rock bands, including Iron Maiden, are tools of Satan and must be stopped. US Christian groups labeled the band as “Satanists” and called for people to destroy copies of their album The Number of the Beast…which is just hilarious, in my opinion.

Here is the controversial hit, The Number of the Beast live from The Forum in Las Angeles, 2008.

666. The number of the beast!

The Go-Go’s

The LA-based, all female new wave band was formed in 1978. Led by vocalist Belinda Carlisle, The Go-Go’s sold over 7 million albums worldwide.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist Jane Wiedlin discussed what it was like for all female bands in their time. She said:

“If you look at a band like the Runaways, they’re all talented people, especially Joan [Jett], whom I consider a genius, and yet they were basically created by a really creepy man [Kim Fowley] who forced them into their image, who wrote their songs for them. I feel like those girls were really degraded. And so I guess I just feel lucky that we came about organically and kind of kept our own power.”

Here is The Go-Go’s hit single, We Got The Beat.

That hair…

Rage Against The Machine

RATM, the LA-based rock band formed in 1991 is on the nominee list for the third time since 2017.

The band, consisting of Tom Morello, Zack de la Rocha, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk, is known for their leftist anti-authoritarian and revolutionary views in their music.

Rage has won 2 Grammys and is hoping the third time is the charm for the Hall of Fame.

Here is Rage Against The Machine with one of my favorite songs to rock out to, Killing In The Name, live at PinkPop 1993.

F*ck you, I won’t do what you tell me

Todd Rundgren

The 73-year-old multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer from Philadelphia played a diverse range of styles and genres. Rundgren was responsible for the first interactive television concert in 1978, and the first interactive album, No World Order, in 1994.

Rundgren also produced tracks on Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell, Hall and OatesWar Babies, and Grand Funk Railroad’s We’re An American Band, just to name a few.

Here is Todd Rundgren’s 1973 hit, Hello It’s Me.

Hello it’s me
I’ve thought about us for a long long time

Devo

This Akron, OH rock band was formed in 1973. In 2021, Devo looks to return home to Cleveland and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They are known for their science fiction themes and social satire.

Devo played a heavy hand in the beginning of music videos, creating LazerDisk format clips in their video for Whip It, which was played on MTV at the very beginning of it all.

When MTV played music.

Here is the innovative 1980 video, Whip It.

It’s not too late
To whip it
Whip it good

Dionne Warwick

Now 80-years-old, Warwick is more than deserving of a place in the Hall. Known for her single That’s What Friends Are For, she is one of the most charted female vocalists of all-time with 56 singles reaching the Hot 100.

EW named Warwick the “newly minted queen of social media” last week, as she has been hilariously active on Twitter lately. Have a look at the EW video in her tweet below.

“I asked The Weeknd why he didn’t spell his name right.”

Here is Dionne Warwick with the 1985 hit, That’s What Friends Are For.

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for

Chaka Khan

67-year-old powerhouse, Chaka Khan, is widely known as the “Queen of Funk.” She has won 10 Grammys and has sold over 70 million records since her career started in 1973.

Khan has been on the ballet for the Rock Hall twice as a solo artist, and 4 times as a member of Rufus featuring Chaka Khan.

Most recently, Chaka Khan appeared on season 3 of The Masked Singer as Miss Monster in 2020…at young age of 79. Have a look at one of her performances here.

Imagine having to perform in that crap. No thanks.

Here she is in her prime, singing Ain’t Nobody live from Germany, 1985

And now we’re flyin’ through the stars
I hope this night will last forever

New York Dolls

This punk rock/glam rock band formed in New York City in 1971. The band never really received any traction in commercial music, but they did turn out 2 of the most popular cult rock albums and really predated punk music.

The New York Dolls heavily influenced acts like Kiss, the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and even Guns n Roses.

Here is their 1973 live performance of Personality Crisis.

All about that personality crisis, you got it while it was hot
But now, frustration and heartache is what you got

Kate Bush

This 62-year-old singer, songwriter, was the first female artist to claim a UK number 1 with a self-written song at the age of 19 (1978).

Bush signed with EMI Records after Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour helped produce her first demo tape. She has been nominated for 3 Grammy Awards and was first nominated for the Rock Hall in 2018.

Here is Kate Bush with Babooshka.

All yours
Babooshka, babooshka, babooshka 

LL Cool J

Short for “Ladies Love Cool James” which is a fun fact I just learned. The 53-year-old hip-hop artist from Queens, NY has 2 Grammys under his belt, and became the first rapper to receive Kennedy Center Honors.

Aside from his music career, LL appeared in the films Any Given Sunday, S.W.A.T., and Deep Blue Sea. He also stars in NCIS: Las Angeles.

Here is LL Cool J with the hit Doin It.

Doin it and doin it and doin it well

Jay Z

With a $1 BILLION net worth, it’s safe to say 51-year-old Shawn Cory Carter has made one hell of a career for himself.

The rapper/songwriter/executive/businessman/producer is one of the most influential names in all of hip-hop. This guy started his career in music by founding Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995.

22 Grammy Awards later, Jay Z was the first rapper inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time according to Rolling Stone.

On the business side, Jay has founded several multi-million dollar corporations, Rocawear and the 40/40 Club. He also founded the entertainment company Roc Nation and took over the streaming source Tidal.

Not to mention the fact that he is married to one of the biggest superstars of all time, Beyoncé.

I want your life, Jay Z.

I listened to a lot of Jay growing up. I actually made a point of it to eat at the McDonald’s on 145th and Broadway that he wrote about in New York State of Mind.

I used to cop in Harlem,
all of my Dominicanos
right there up on Broadway,
brought me back to that McDonalds

Here is one of my favorite Jay Z hits from when I was a kid, 1999 hit Big Pimpin‘.

We doin’, big pimpin’, we spendin’ cheese
Check ’em out now
Big pimpin’, on B.L.A.D.’s
We doin big pimpin’ up in N.Y.C.

Mary J. Blige

Signed to Uptown Records in 1991, Mary’s esteemed career began. She has sold over 80 million records worldwide, won 9 Grammys, 12 American Music Awards, and even 3 Golden Globes.

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul deserves a shot at the Hall. If she doesn’t get it this year, I’d be willing to bet she will in the next couple of years,

Here is Mary J. Blige with her 2009 hit, Family Affair.

Mary J is in the spot tonight, and I’mma make ya feel alright

Fela Kuti

Last but not least, we have the Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti. He was a superstar in Africa in the 1970s and an outspoken political activist.

As an artist, he was known for his showmanship and his concerts were considered to be quite wild. Fela passed away in 1997.

In 2008, Fela’s music was brought to New York in the off-Broadway production of Fela! a story of the man’s life, which opened on Broadway at the Eugene O’Niell Theatre and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2009.

Here is Fela Kuti’s live performance of Pansa Pansa in Germany, 1987.

There we have it. All 16 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees.

Be sure to vote your favorites in at https://vote.rockhall.com/

Who are you voting for? Let me know in the comments!