The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, established in 1983 and located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, is dedicated to recording the history of some of the best-known and most influential musicians, bands, producers, and others that have in some major way influenced the music industry, particularly in the area of rock and roll. Originally, there were four categories of induction: performers, non-performers, early influences, and lifetime achievement. In 2000, "sidemen" was introduced as a category while that year also marked the last time for nine years that early influences would be inducted.
The only category that has seen new inductees every single year is the performers category. Artists become eligible for induction in that category 25 years after the release of their first record. In order to be inducted, an artist must be nominated by a committee that selects anywhere from nine to a dozen candidates. Ballots are then sent to 600 "rock experts" who evaluate the candidates and vote on who should be inducted. The performers that receive the highest number of votes and more than 50 percent of the vote are inducted. In 2010, the number inducted was five. The rest of the categories are voted on by special committees. New inductees are honored at an annual ceremony held either in New York or every three years at the Hall of Fame city in Cleveland.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has garnered criticism for allegedly allowing the nomination process to be controlled by a few individuals, nominating too many artists in too many genres that are not entirely rock, ignoring entire rock genres, and using technicalities to induct groups who may not have been among the top vote getters. The surviving members of the Sex Pistols, who were inducted in 2006, refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum a "piss stain."In 2012, Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer, who was 32 at the time, became the youngest living musician to ever be inducted passing Stevie Wonder who was 38 when he was inducted in 1989.
The performers category is meant for recording artists and bands that have "influence and significance to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll." Artists become eligible for induction in that category 25 years after the release of their first record. In order to be inducted, an artist must be nominated by a committee that selects anywhere from nine to a dozen candidates. Ballots are sent to 500 "rock experts" who then evaluate the candidates and vote on who should be inducted. The performers who receive the highest number of votes and more than 50 percent of the vote are inducted. In 2011, the number inducted was five. The rest of the categories are voted on by special committees. In 2012, six additional bands and groups were inducted as performers by a special committee, due to the controversial nature of their being excluded when their lead singer was inducted. "There was a lot of discussion about this," said Terry Stewart, a member of the nominating committee. "There had always been conversations about why the groups weren't included when the lead singers were inducted. Very honestly, nobody could really answer that question â" it was so long ago... We decided we'd sit down as an organization and look at that. This is the result."
^ Note 1. These backing bands were inducted by a separate committee, and not by the ballot voting used for all other performer inductees.
Artists inducted into the early influences category are those "whose music predated rock and roll but had an impact on the evolution of rock and roll and inspired rock's leading artists." Unlike the performers category, these inductees are selected by a committee. The full process is not transparent and it is unclear who comprises this selection committee.
^ A. Inducted members: Bill Kenny, Charlie Fuqua, Deek Watson, and Orville "Hoppy" Jones.
^ B. Inducted members: Roy Crain Sr., R. H. Harris, Jesse Farley, and E. A. Rundless.
^ C. Inducted members: Sonny Til, Tommy Gaither, George Nelson, Johnny Reed, and Alexander Sharp.
^ D. Inducted members: Bob Wills, Tommy Duncan, Leon McAuliffe, Johnny Gimble, Joe "Jody" Holley, Tiny Moore, Herb Remington, Eldon Shamblin, and Al Stricklin.
^ E. Nominated as a performer.
^ F. Inducted members: John L. Tanner, Eugene Tanner, James E. Moore, Obadiah H. Carter and Lowman Pauling, Jr
Non-performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)
The non-performer category honors "songwriters, producers, disc jockeys, record executives, journalists and other industry professionals who have had a major influence on the development of rock and roll." Several of the inductees in this category were in fact prominent performers as well. The inductees in this category are selected by the same committee that chooses the early influences. The full process is not transparent and it is unclear who comprises this selection committee. This category has been criticized for inducting those that have "been coming to the dinner for years and paying for their tickets" and not revealing their full criteria. In 2008, this category was renamed the "Ahmet ErtegÃ¼n Award".
Award for Musical Excellence
This category, which replaced sidemen, "honors those musicians, producers and others who have spent their careers out of the spotlight working with major artists on various parts of their recording and live careers."
Established in 2000, the sidemen category "honors those musicians who have spent their careers out of the spotlight, performing as backup musicians for major artists on recording sessions and in concert." A separate committee, composed mainly of producers, chooses the inductees. In 2010, the category was renamed to "Award for Musical Excellence". According to Joel Peresman, the president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, "This award gives us flexibility to dive into some things and recognize some people who might not ordinarily get recognized."
The following were inducted for "Lifetime Achievement in the Non-Performer Category."
As of 2015, only twenty one performers have been inducted twice or more; eleven have been recognized as a solo artist and with a band and seven have been inducted with two separate bands. Eric Clapton is the only one to be inducted three times: as a solo artist, with The Yardbirds, and with Cream. Clyde McPhatter was the first to ever be inducted twice and is one of three artists to be inducted first as a solo artist and then as a member of a band, the other artists being Neil Young and Rod Stewart. Stephen Stills is the only artist to be inducted twice in the same year. Crosby, Stills & Nash, inducted in 1997, is the only band to see all of its inducted members be inducted with other acts: David Crosby with The Byrds in 1991, Stephen Stills with Buffalo Springfield in 1997, and Graham Nash with The Hollies in 2010. The Beatles, inducted in 1988, is the second band to have all of its members be inducted, as well as the only band to have each of its members be inducted for their solo careers as their second induction. Ringo Starr is the first inductee to be inducted twice, but in different categories (The Beatles were inducted in the performers category in 1988 and Starr was inducted as a solo artist in the Award for Musical Excellence category in 2015).
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and Nominees by year at FutureRockLegends.com.
- 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at History.com