The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the 15 nominees for its class of 2024 Saturday morning, with two-thirds of those nominated being up for election for the first time, ranging from pop superstars Mariah Carey and Cher to classic rockers Ozzy Osbourne and Peter Frampton to the late singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor.
Also getting first-time nominations are Foreigner, Kool & the Gang, Lenny Kravitz, Oasis and Sade.
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The other nominees are returning to the ballot after previously having been put up for the honor: Mary J. Blige, Dave Matthews Band, Eric B. and Rakim, Jane’s Addiction and A Tribe Called Quest.
The complete list of 2024 nominees, in alphabetical order:
· Mary J. Blige
· Mariah Carey
· Dave Matthews Band
· Eric B. & Rakim
· Peter Frampton
· Jane’s Addiction
· Kool & the Gang
· Lenny Kravitz
· Sinead O’Connor
· Ozzy Osbourne
· A Tribe Called Quest
Cher recently made news by declaring that she would refuse to participate in an induction if she were elected, although her election would not be affected by her willingness, as was proven two years ago when the Hall announced that Parton would not be taken off the ballot despite her then-stated wishes. The country star came around but embraced her exaltation eventually, as many imagine Cher would be likely to.
Still, Cher seemed pretty firm at the time, declaring in December on “The Kelly Clarkson Show”: “You know what, I wouldn’t be in it now if they gave me a million dollars … I’m never going to change my mind. They can just go you-know-what themselves.”
O’Connor is the nominee who has been most on music fans’ minds lately, with her death on July 26, 2023 no doubt having an impact on electors. O’Connor’s first album came out in 1987 — the same year as Tracy Chapman’s, someone else who might have been a likely candidate for the ballot if the nominating committee had met just a little later and seen the outpouring of love for her around the Grammys.
Osbourne is the one candidate who is already a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2006 as a member of the group Black Sabbath.
Naturally, many eyes will be on Oasis, to see whether the famously feuding Gallagher brothers might make up long enough to perform at the ceremony or, barring that, will stand on the same stage at all to accept. (There is a history of estranged bands reuniting to play at the induction ceremony, including Talking Heads in 2002 and the original lineup of Heart in 2013, although the Hall has been less successful in getting other groups, like ABBA, to do a reunion performance.)
An induction for Frampton would carry extra sentimental value, as the ’70s rocker is currently on a farewell tour, performing while he can while suffering from the degenerative effects of inclusion body myositis (IBM), an autoimmune disease that affects his muscles.
O’Connor is not the only nominee to have died recently. Kool & the Gang lost drummer/co-founder George Brown less than four months ago, in November 2023. (Ronald “Khalis” Bell preceded him in 2020.)
Besides Cher, Foreigner’s founding singer, Lou Gramm, is another nominee who just recently complained about not being in the Hall, although he did not go so far as to vow to boycott the proceedings. “It’s not anything to do with our music or the amount of hits or notoriety or anything like that,” Gramm said in a fall interview with “The Rock Shop With Ralph.” “It’s a personal thing that we’re not in there… It’s a personal vendetta between the gentleman who owns Rolling Stone and Mick [Jones]. It’s very juvenile, the whole thing, and I don’t think it’s gonna get any better. I think it’s gonna stay that way. I think we’re being made an example of.” (Gramm was referring to former Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, who has not been in charge of the Hall or the magazine in years; he stepped down as chairman in 2020. Wenner denied having an animus against Foreigner and said he was friends with Jones.]
Voting by the Hall’s electors will take place between now and when the finalists are revealed in late April.
The ceremony will take place at a yet-to-be-revealed date in the fall, in Cleveland; as with last year, it will be streamed live on Disney+ and then edited for an ABC special at a later date (with Hulu availability starting the day after the broadcast special). The most recent Hall induction ceremony was held in October, with ABC’s version airing on New Year’s Day.
Performers become eligible for nomination 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording.
Among those who are returning to the ballot, A Tribe Called Quest has previously been nominated twice, and Blige, Jane’s Addiction, Eric B. and Rakim and Dave Matthews Band have been up for it once. A Tribe Called Quest is the only one of the nominees to have been on the ballot in 2023 making a return try in 2024. The group was also on the ballot in 2022, so the nominating committee’s determination to see the hip-hop collective get in is undiminished.
The exact number of nominees and inductees differs slightly from year to year. In 2023, seven honorees were voted in from 14 nominees, one fewer than the number appearing on this yer’s ballot.
This is the rare year in which none of the nominees are being put up for election in their first year of eligibility. Among the first-timers on the ballot, Cher has been eligible since 1991; Kool & the Gang, since 1995; Frampton, since 1998; Foreigner, since 2003; Osbourne, since 2006; Sade, since 2010; O’Connor, since 2013; Kravitz, since 2015; Carey, since 2016; and Oasis, since 2020.
Among repeat nominees, Eric B. & Rakim have been eligible since 2012 (they were previously nominated in that very year); Jane’s Addiction since 2013 (they were previously nominated for the 2017 class); A Tribe Called Quest since 2016 (the previous nods were in 2022-23); Blige since 2018 (her prior nomination came in 2021); and Dave Matthews Band since 2020 (which was the year the group’s prior nomination came).
Although the Rock Hall seemed to be on a roll with surprise country music nominations and inductions, the recent wins for Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson were not followed up with anything nominated from that genre this year. Despite predictions that Loretta Lynn or Merle Haggard could be next up, the Hall’s nominating committee seems to be prioritizing living nominees over departed ones, O’Connor and the departed members of Kool & the Gang notwithstanding.
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