While fellow inductees Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple and Steve Miller were classic rock acts that waited decades for their first nomination, N.W.A. is a pioneering rap act that made it to the ballot in their first year of eligibility. N.W.A. didn’t get in that year — 2013 — nor did they make it in ’14 or ’15 despite making the shortlist both years. But in 2016, they became the fifth hip-hop act inducted into the Hall.
Steve Miller is yet another 2016 Rock & Roll Hal of Fame inductee who waited more than two decades for the privilege. First eligible in 1994, Miller made it into the Hall in one try once nominated. Though he performed with The Steve Miller Band for the duration of his career, he was inducted as a solo artist.
Miller raised hell in the press room after his induction ceremony, calling out the Rock Hall for its pettiness and lack of respect for artists. He said the Hall offered him two tickets to the ceremony, for him and his wife, and charged $10,000 for any additional seats (including for bandmates performing with him on the show).
2016 was a big catch-up year for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to the long-awaited inductions of Cheap Trick and Chicago, the English hard rock band Deep Purple made it into the Hall after a 22-year wait.
Considered part of the “unholy trinity” of English hard rock bands, along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Deep Purple had been nominated twice before (in 2013 and 2014) before finally making the cut.
Formed in 1967, the band has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, with scores of gold, platinum and multi-platinum records to their credit. At one point in the mid-70s, Chicago had seven albums on the Billboard 200 at the same time. Whatever you think of their music, these guys were huge.
It’s time for another round of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Having covered the artists inducted in 2017 through 2020, I’m now turning my attention to the 2016 class.
First up is Cheap Trick, the Illinois-based rock band that debuted in 1973 and is still making music today (a planned 2020 album release was delayed due to Covid and will come out later this year).
Cheap Trick has been eligible for the Rock Hall since 2003 and made it in the first year they were nominated.