T. Rex has been eligible for Hall inclusion since 1994 but didn’t become a nominee until this year. Bolan was considered one of the most egregious oversights for the past 25 years, because he is widely credited with starting the glam movement and was otherwise a major influence on British rockers in particular. I’ve read that without Marc Bolan, there would be no David Bowie.
Half of this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees died before their time. In the case of Christopher George Latore Wallace (aka The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls), he was gunned down in his car following an after-party for the Soul Train Music Awards in 1997. He was 24 years old.
Biggie is the seventh rap act inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he made it the first year he was eligible. The other rap inductees are Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, N.W.A and Tupac Shakur.
Industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails (the brainchild of one-man band Trent Reznor) was first eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. They were nominated that year and the following year, unsuccessfully, then missed the ballot for a few years before earning a spot in the 2020 class.
Reznor is no doubt a major influence on a genre of music I don’t much like, and his commercial and critical success — particularly in the 90s — makes him a no-brainer for the Rock Hall.
Like The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston earned entrance into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame the first time she was nominated. In her case, that nomination came ten years after her initial eligibility in 2010.
Had she made it in back then she would have been alive to see it happen, but Houston drowned in a bathtub two years later while under the influence of several drugs. She died the night before that year’s Grammy awards, turning that celebration into a solemn affair (shades of Kobe Bryant’s pre-Grammys passing this year).
The surprise is that the nomination came 23 years after they were first eligible. Since 1997, the board of the Rock Hall has failed to include the California rockers on the ballot. Outrageous!
It’s a couple of decades late, but one of the Hall’s most notorious omissions has been remedied.