Sunday, May 2, 2021

Battle Royale for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: My Ballot


My friends over at the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast recently devoted an entire episode to Tina Turner’s candidacy, and on  the surface, it’s easy to say that of course Tina should be a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. But that’s one reason I wanted to evaluate the candidates en masse this year; since we only get to vote for five of them, voting for Tina means you have to leave off at least one of Dionne or the New York Dolls or Jay-Z or Devo or Carole King or the Go-Go’s. Who’s it gonna be?

So I rated the candidates along five different vectors, added up their totals, and… I didn’t like one of the answers it gave me, so I’m going to make a tweak to the results. We'll get to that in a second, but here, in reverse order, are this year’s nominees as I see them:

16.  Iron Maiden Ugh.

15. Kate Bush Prime candidate for the U.K. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

14. Rage Against the Machine I expect them to get in eventually, although probably not this year. One of the last great guitar bands, except for…

13. Foo Fighters They’re probably going in, and won’t need my vote.

12. Mary J. Blige The Hall hasn’t been kind to female R&B singers, and it’s hard to put Mary at the top of the list of the ones they've overlooked.

11. Devo They’ve been nominated a lot, and they probably won’t make it again this year, which means it’s about time for them to stop appearing on the ballot.

10. Fela Kuti Like I said in my last missive, I bet they find some side door for Fela to get in.

9. Todd Rundgren I wouldn’t mind seeing him get in, but the fact that his impact is divided between solo performer and producer is going to limit him.

8. New York Dolls Speaking of Todd Rundgren as a producer.... Too much of a critic’s band to make a dent here. If they ever start putting in the Pavements and Sonic Youths of the world, the Dolls will follow.

7. Chaka Khan Some form of Chaka and/or Rufus has been on the ballot several times, and have yet to make it. I hate to say it, because I love me some Chaka Khan, but she seems to constitute the “falls just short” borderline for the Hall of Fame.

6. Tina Turner I had Tina come in sixth in my little competition, in large part because her solo career slotted low in “Musical Influence.” She finished behind…

5. LL Cool J …who didn’t come close to leading in any one category but was strong across the board, never finishing lower than sixth. You may have noticed that this is the cutoff line, since we only get to vote for five candidates. I have made the executive decision to elevate Tina past LL Cool J, for one simple reason: Tina Turner is 81. LL Cool J is 53. I believe both these individuals will eventually be inducted, so let’s focus first on getting Tina in while she can still enjoy it.

4. Carole King The sincere but misguided decision to first induct her as a songwriter unnecessarily delayed something that should have happened a long time ago.

3. Dionne Warwick Dionne is 80. It would be fun to see her and Tina up there together.

2. The Go-Go’s Ever since I got the privilege of voting for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I have expressed the desire to vote for the Go-Go’s. This is their first time on the ballot, and I am thrilled to finally have the opportunity to elevate them.

1. Jay-Z I’m a little surprised that he came out on top, but he is surely fully qualified.

So here's my final ballot: Jay-Z, the Go-Go's, Dionne Warwick, Carole King and Tina Turner. Congratulations, everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Battle Royale for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: It's All About the Music, Man

 This is going to be my last entry in this series evaluating the candidates for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but it may be the most significant one: How good was their music? This is necessarily a personal assessment, but I’m also going to take into account the opinions of people I respect. There are a lot of lovers of popular music who have better taste than me.

Believe me, you don’t want me making the final decision on who should be in the Hall of Fame, because nobody wants Alan O’Day to be inducted. (As an aside, Robert Christgau’s continuing affection for the forgettable DeBarge album In a Special Way, which he voted for in the latest Rolling Stone Greatest Albums of All Time poll, emboldens all of us who have that one idiosyncratic album we love that nobody else even bothers to have an opinion about. You wanna love Head East or Teena Marie? Christgau gives you his blessing.) 

On the other hand, the Hall of Fame has, for some reason, entrusted me with this decision, so I may as well take my shot. My taste is as valid as anyone's, right? My final ballot will be posted shortly: 

1. Carole King Anyone familiar with my writing knows that early 1970s pop is my sweet spot for music, and Carole defined that genre. A composer first and a performer second, her songs were as well-crafted as anything you heard on the radio then, or anything you’ve heard since.

2. The Go-Go’s Those records still sound incredible, poppy and fun with a punk undertone, and Gina Schock’s surf-rock rhythms buoying the whole thing. I just wish they had held it together for a little while longer.

3. Dionne Warwick She’s had a LOT of hits, and that Bacharach/David 1960s material is about as good as pop music gets. I probably listen to Dionne as much as any artist here.

4. New York Dolls Their Bowie-in-a-garage-band stuff is totally hot, isn’t it? If they had just had a left-field pop hit, like Lou Reed and T. Rex did, they’d be in already, but for some reason “Personality Crisis” didn't make the charts. Thanks also to Todd Rundgren, about whom more shortly.

5. LL Cool J The ultimate radio star among the first wave of crossover rappers, he sure knew how to make a hit, from the silky “Going Back to Cali” to the powerhouse “Mama Said Knock You Out.” I love the fact that a Irish folkie (Luka Bloom) covered “I Need Love,” demonstrating just how versatile and universal this music was.

6. Todd Rundgren Like Carole King, he turned out effortless pop classics in the 1970s, songs that manage to sound of their time but still feel fresh today.

7. Chaka Khan A tremendous vocalist and spell-binding presence, and the hits still sound good. But I can’t help noticing she was reliant on talents like Stevie Wonder and Prince for her most indelible work.

Jay-Z Jay’s type of music has never been my bag, and I’m willing to accept that that’s the fault of my limited tastes. But in good conscience, I can’t rate him very highly on this scale.

9. Fela Kuti Sister Rosetta Tharpe was on the ballot a few years ago. She of course fell short in the traditional voting, since hardly anyone knows who she is, but the Hall of Fame inducted her anyway in some sort of pioneers category. I suspect the same fate may await Fela. His music is great (the little I’ve heard of it), but how am I supposed to compare him to Dionne Warwick or the Foo Fighters?

10. Tina Turner Once again I am reminding you that we are judging Tina here solely on her solo work, which for my money isn’t nearly as exciting as the Ike and Tina stuff. Tina agrees with me; she thought “What’s Love Got to Do With It” was unexciting and didn’t want to record it at first, thinking “I Can’t Stand the Rain” would be the hit from her comeback album. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good stuff, but there’s stiff competition here.

11. Rage Against the Machine Rap-rock ultimately didn’t have much of a shelf life, but they certainly did it better than anyone, with an ever-innovative Tom Morello on guitar and Zach de la Rocha trying to be the postmodern Joe Strummer, and occasionally succeeding.  

12. Devo A fun but ultimately limited band, I always felt like their weakness was their songwriting. My favorite song of theirs was their deconstruction of “Satisfaction,” but there’s only so many times you can pull that trick.

13. Kate Bush I am a sucker for this type of gossamer pop, but Bush takes it to an extreme, often eschewing rhythms altogether. And she can be awfully pretentious. In the end, I end up respecting her work more than enjoying it.

14. Mary J. Blige The female R&B singer category is very crowded this year, and I’m afraid Mary comes in at the bottom of it for me. It’s a tough crowd.

15. Foo Fighters The kind of chugging, well-crafted rock that’s always welcome on the radio, but you tend to forget as soon as the next song comes on. Dave Grohl’s already in, you know.

16. Iron Maiden Ugh.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Battle Royale for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Animal Magnetism


I think it’s important to assess each of these artists in terms of their personality, their status as an icon, their mystique. Let’s face it: We’re talking about sex here. The sex appeal of each of the candidates may seem like a peripheral issue, but it’s an integral component of each act’s image, and in rock & roll, image is everything. And it’s fun to talk about, so what the heck. 

This will probably end up being the least important of our categories, but it’s good to have it on the record anyway. Note that I bring my own viewpoint to this as a heterosexual male, but I have tried my best to accommodate the perspectives of others. If Beyonce thinks someone is sexy, I’m going to take that under advisement.


  1. The Go-Go’s They were one of those rare groups – along with the Beatles and Buckingham-Nicks-era Fleetwood Mac-

    where each member had a distinct personality and contributed something specific and meaningful to the overall whole. And they did it while being as fun and fresh as any band ever, and as sexy as all get out.
  2. Jay-Z I will defer here to the judgment of the most desirable woman in the world.
  3. Tina Turner The owner of the most famous legs in the business, if not the world, she was also a survivor, a fighter, an icon, a movie star who also had her own Oscar-nominated biopic.

  4. LL Cool J I am struggling to explain why he’s two slots down from Jay-Z, when I can’t think of Cool J without remembering the phrase “breathtaking torso." I guess it’s because Cool J went on to become a minor TV star when his music career began to fade, while Jay-Z went on to become Jay-Z.
  5. Chaka Khan When she was just a teenager, Ike Turner invited her to become an Ikette, but she decided to stay in the job she had just taken, as the lead singer of Rufus. Good move. Ike later described her as “a catalyst emotionally and in other ways as well," if you know what I mean. Prince’s infatuation with her – he had a Rufus poster on his wall as a kid – eventually led to “I Feel for You.” And, I mean, just look at her.
  6. Dionne Warwick More classy than sexy, but her sophistication was palpable on all those Bacharach/David hits. Docked a notch for the Psychic Friends Network.
  7. Fela Kuti He had 27 wives, which is a handful, but he was also an important activist who ran for president of Nigeria and put out a song denouncing ITT, which I think we can all get behind. One million people attended his funeral in 1997.
  8. Kate Bush I love the video for “Wuthering Heights” where she acts like she’s speed-skating. Love her hair, too.
  9. Carole King Another example of spectacular hair, but Carole's image was

    always more of a best friend than a sexpot. I am more inclined to defer to the wisdom of Beyonce than to the wisdom of Neil Sedaka.  
  10. New York Dolls They were pretty much the same band as the Go-Go’s, weren’t they? An exciting five-member group that managed to be both startlingly new and definitive of its times, but sadly burned out way before we got tired of them. Plus both bands took the stage in women’s clothing. But the Go-Go’s looked a lot better doing it.
  11. Mary J. Blige Like a lot of these performers, Mary became an actor when her singing career started to fade. I think it says a lot about her that her justifiably Oscar-nominated turn in Mudbound was as a matriarch.
  12. Foo Fighters Do people still think these guitar bands are sexy? They seem more nerdy than anything to me.
  13. Devo They’re through being cool.
  14. Rage Against the Machine I get the sense that these boys would be slightly offended if you referred to them as sexy. Maybe not Zach.
  15. Todd Rundgren Rundgren was part of that Seventies series of rock stars who were basically faceless; if anyone remembers what he looked like, it’s probably because he was so homely.
  16. Iron Maiden Ugh.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Battle Royale for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Cultural Impact


Today we’re going to try to assess the cultural impact of each of the candidates for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This is different from their status as musical influence, asking questions like: How often were they on the cover of Rolling Stone? Or better yet, the cover of Time? Did they ever become the proverbial household word? Were they on Saturday Night Live? Or The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries? (As far as I know, the only Hall of Famer with that distinction is Mama Cass Elliot, although Sonny and Cher and Jerry Reed still have a shot.)

This isn’t an easy thing to assess, since people like the New York Dolls (only there aren’t any people like the New York Dolls) had an exceedingly narrow but nevertheless noticeable impact on the culture. So, as with most of this categories, there will be a great deal of judgment involved. As President Kennedy said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Let’s do something that’s hard:


  1. Carole King A true superstar in the early 1970s, at that moment when Long Island housewives started wearing caftans and getting divorced. The best-selling album of all time at one point, Tapestry was on the charts continuously from April 1971 to January 1977. Lorne Michaels wanted her to appear on the first episode of Saturday Night Live (he settled for Janis Ian instead).
  2. Tina Turner Tina became an icon in the midst of her solo comeback in the 1980s, with not just hit records but a best-selling book and even an Oscar-nominated movie based on her life. What she did with Ike may have been more important musically, but her solo career was more impactful on America as a whole.
  3. Jay-Z Playing off a lyric in “Empire State of Mind,” my friend Rob Sheffield has made the case for J-Hova as the Frank Sinatra of rap. It’s a bold claim, and I am not in a position to say it’s wrong. At the same time, you could call Jay and Bey the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor of the modern age. 

  4. The Go-Go’s 
    They came along at the perfect time, just as MTV was happening, but they also did an awful lot to create that moment. A greatly enjoyable, photogenic band with a sneakily original sound, welding together punk and pop and surf music in Gina Schock’s drumming. They posed for Rolling Stone in their underwear, like many other women had done, but nobody ever had more fun doing it.
  5. Dionne Warwick The sophistication she brought to the pop charts with her string of Bacharach/David hits in the 1960s was something that didn’t really exist aside from Ms. Warwick herself. That impact lessened as her career went on, although her biggest hits came in the 1970s (“Then Came You”) and 1980s (That’s What Friends Are For”).
  6. LL Cool J A huge figure in the first wave of rap that crossed over to not just the pop charts but mainstream American culture. He headlined a sitcom that ran for two seasons and has been on one form or another of NCIS in recent years. I’m not sure whether any of that counts toward the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, though.
  7. Devo They were on Saturday Night Live in 1978, when that was the hippest show on TV, and the nerd on Square Pegs (where they made a guest appearance) claimed his Devo helmet as his dearest possession. In between, they became MTV superstars with “Whip It.”
  8. Chaka Khan Chaka has the respect of everybody who’s anybody in R&B: Stevie Wonder and Prince wrote songs for her to sing, and she made huge hits out of both of them. She also has a street in Chicago named after her, but having said all that, I don’t see very many ways in which she has impacted the culture.
  9. New York Dolls Had a shot at being the Velvet Underground of the 1970s. But they weren’t.
  10. Rage Against the Machine One of the leading acts of the late 1990s, with a great deal of notoriety among the MTV crowd. My sense is that they were a bit of a supernova, whose fame diminished very quickly, although “Some of those who work forces are the same who wear crosses” has had a bit of a comeback lately.  
  11. Fela Kuti An international superstar who never had a lot of impact here in the States. Frankly, I don’t know what to do with him in this category.
  12. Foo Fighters Dave Grohl is a big star, and seems both well-liked and well-respected throughout the world of music and with the public at large. But let’s be honest: Foo Fighters will always be his second best-known band.
  13. Todd Rundgren Rundgren was part of that Seventies series of rock stars who were basically faceless; if anyone today remembers what he looked like, it’s probably because he was so homely.
  14. Mary J. Blige Despite all her hitmaking, Mary never became a household name, or even very visible. She didn’t really make a lot of magazine cover, aside from Essence.
  15. Kate Bush She was probably a big deal in Great Britain, right? I don’t live in Great Britain.
  16. Iron Maiden Ugh.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Battle Royale for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Musical Influence

One of the things I really like to see in a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is someone who has influenced other artists, which to me is the true sign of innovation and stature. To that end, I’ve tried to uncover artists who claim, in the first person, to have been inspired by these candidates. I'm not convinced when some random schmo says, “Oh yeah, Lady Gaga is totally influenced by Kate Bush”; tell me what Gaga has to say on the matter.

This ranking is obviously heavily subjective, and my knowledge for may of these artists' legacies is limited. If you know of people who patterned their vocals after Chaka Khan, by all means, let me know.

1. Fela Kuti “They blew us – The JB's – away, so we told them that they were the funkiest cats we ever heard,” said Bootsy Collins of James Brown’s band and Funkadelic. Brian Eno said: “I told the Talking Heads that this was the music of the future, and it still is. This is what I’d have liked jazz to have become.” BeyoncĂ© covered Fela’s “Zombie” at  Coachella. You may notice that Fela’s followers are some of the biggest artists in the genre.

2. Devo Toni Basil and Neil Young worked with them; Rage Against the Machine, Moby and Nirvana covered them. David Bowie once introduced them onstage by declaring them “the band of the future,” 

3. New York Dolls The great music writer David Fricke told me that he was once interviewing Morrissey and let it slip that he had seen a New York Dolls show during their meteoric career. Morrissey just about plotzed; he was president of some sort of New York Dolls fan club, and was in awe that he got to meet someone who had seen them live. Morrissey, you may have noticed, is not easily impressed. 

4. Jay-Z My sense is that Jay’s influence has been stronger than that of LL Cool J (who we’ll get to later), through hitmakers ranging from Drake to DJ Khaled to Timbaland. I’m not an expert, though.

5. The Go-Go’s "The best songwriters of the 20th century [sic] have both cited the Go-Go's as being an influence — and they're not female,” said Jane Wiedlin. “That would be Kurt Cobain and Billie Joe Armstrong.” Their influence on females, though, is undeniable: “The Go-Go's music is deeply in our DNA,” said Danielle Haim. “One of the coolest things about the Go-Go’s and their music, for me, is how fun they make femininity feel," said Hayley Williams of Paramore. "They’ve never undermined their own identities to placate any notion that rock genres have to feel a certain kind of ‘tough.’ They’re so badass.”

6. LL Cool J “One of the rappers I studied and learned line for line bar for bar style attitude and class on the mic,” said Snoop Dogg. “Goat is why I still here. L. L. Cool. J. Is hard. As hell." 

7. Carole King A tremendous influence on the singer-songwriter movement of the 1970s, as exemplified by her friend and collaborator James Taylor, whose biggest hit was his cover of King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” Remember, we’re considering here her strictly as a performer. 

8. Todd Rundgren Rundgren’s biggest influence is arguably on the acts he’s produced, which include Cheap Trick, the New York Dolls, Hall & Oates, Alice Cooper, Patti Smith and Grand Funk. But his biggest hit was Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell, which is not a plus.

9. Dionne Warwick Obviously her work with Bacharach and David was very influential, but that was in large part because of the material. Strictly as a vocalist? I’m not seeing a whole lot there. 

10. Mary J. Blige “On behalf of all the women who came after you like myself, thank you for being you,” Rihanna said of the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. “So we could feel comfortable with being ourselves.” 

11. Tina Turner We’re looking at Tina’s solo career, so think “Private Dancer”: Was that a very influential record? Were there a lot of singers who wanted to sound like “What’s Love Got to Do With It”? Anita Baker, maybe?

12. Chaka Khan Chaka cut a single with Ariana Grande, and it strikes me that there’s where her influence lies, with pop/R&B vocalists. As well-respected as she is, I don’t think she’s left that strong a legacy. 

13. Rage Against the Machine They began the rap-metal/nu metal movement that included such luminaries as, uh, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit. I am hard-pressed to think of this as a plus.

14. Kate Bush "She appeared out of nowhere at the tail end of punk and sort of embodied the punk spirit by just being completely herself,” said Boy George. “She blew things apart with things like ‘Running Up That Hill,’ because it defied the classic logic of pop.” She’s so British that I’m sure there’s a lot of her work that lingered on the U.K. charts, but I don’t know a whole lot about that. Her avowed fans included Tupac and OutKast’s Big Boi, although I honestly don’t hear a lot of her in either of their work.

15. Iron Maiden  "They have always been, [among] the hard rock bands, the one that's probably inspired Metallica the most,” said Lars Ulrich. “They had cooler record covers.” 

16. Foo Fighters Foo Fighters seem to me like the last in a line – the last of the big guitar bands. There aren’t a lot of bands trying to sound like them these days. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Battle Royale for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Chartbusters


To start things off, we’re going to look at the hitmaking prowess of each of the nominees, which seems like it ought to be straightforward to measure, but it really isn’t. You can't just arrange the acts in the order of their total Number One hits. Artists like Mary J. Blige and LL Cool J dominated the R&B charts, while the Foo Fighters dominated the Alternative and Mainstream Rock charts – are those achievements as strong as Chaka Khan’s 12 Top Forty hits?

Then there’s the fact that you have to do some pretty serious era adjustments on these chart feats, since hardly anybody buys records anymore. That means that any contemporary album with any sales at all is going to show up on the album charts, even if its sales are next to nothing. To take one example, Carole King’s 2010 album Live at the Troubadour reached No. 4 on the charts on the strength of 78,000 sales in one week, which would have been a disappointing number for Head East two generations ago. A real hit album of today, like Taylor Swift’s Folklore, sells ten times as many units in a single week.

So there’s going to be a little subjectivity in this ranking. But as I see it, here’s how I’d rank the current crop of candidates in their chart impact: 


  1. Dionne Warwick Thirty-one Top Forty hits, ten of them reaching the Top Ten, two Number Ones (both collaborations: “Then Came You” with the Spinners, and “That’s What Friends Are For” with Stevie, Elton and Gladys).

  2. Jay-Z Nineteen Top 20 hits, with “Empire State of Mind” as the only Number One. Eleven of his 13 solo albums have gone to Number One on the charts.

  3. Chaka Khan Twelve Top Forty hits counting her work with Rufus, and eight hits that went to Number One on the R&B chart.

  4. Foo Fighters They’ve pretty much dominated the U.S. Alternative Airplay (26 Top Tens, 10 Numbers Ones) and Mainstream Rock (27 Top Tens, 9 Number Ones) charts. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re the top performers on each of those charts, both of which debuted in the Eighties.

  5. Mary J. Blige Just four Top Ten hits on the Hot 100, and “Family Affair” is her only Number One single. But 20 Top Ten singles on the R&B chart, and most impressively, all 13 of her albums made the Top Ten on the albums chart, even her Christmas LP.

  6. LL Cool J Eight Number One R&B hits, nine Top Ten albums.

  7. Carole King More impressive as an album artist than a singles artist: Just four Top Twenty hits, but seven Top Ten albums (counting the aforementioned Live at the Troubadour), including three Number Ones.

  8. Tina Turner She and Ike are already inducted as a team, so this is strictly about her solo career, which consists of six Top Ten hits and two Top Ten albums.

  9. Todd Rundgren Six Top Forty hits, including a cover of “Good Vibrations” that peaked at No. 34 in 1976; can’t say that I’ve heard it.

  10. The Go-Go’s Five Top Forty hits, two of them in the Top Ten, including “We Got the Beat,” which peaked at Number Two.

  11. Rage Against the Machine Two Number One albums, no Top Forty hits but eight singles on the Alternative Rock chart.

  12. Kate Bush “Running Up That Hill” is her only stateside Top Forty hit, although she’s had seven Top Tens in the U.K., including her first single, “Wuthering Heights,’ which went to Number One.

  13. Devo Well, there’s “Whip It”…. The theme from Doctor Detroit didn’t even make the Top Forty.

  14. Iron Maiden They’ve had ten albums make the Top 20 on the U.S. albums chart, but never had a single even make the Hot 100.

  15. New York Dolls The self-titled debut album peaked at No. 116.

  16. Fela Kuti Nothing at all on the U.S. charts as far as I can see.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Battle Royale for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Foreword


Once again this year I have been entrusted with a vote for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and as befits an honor like this, I intend to make a thorough review of the candidates before I cast my ballot. There are 16 nominees this year, competing for five slots, and it occurs to me that perhaps the best way to approach this is as a real competition, with five winners and 11 losers. Let’s stack the candidates up and let them battle it out against each other – that seems more sensible than just saying “Oh, Tina Turner, she’s great, I’ll vote for her.” None of that is to insinuate that Tina Turner is anything less than great, of course.

So this year we’ll rank each candidate according to the categories that seem most relevant to the Rock Hall: hit making, musical influence, cultural impact, coolness, etc. Rather than compare, say, Fela with Iron Maiden along a single vector of worthiness, we’ll stack all these qualities up and see how they turn out. Then at the end, the five acts that score the best will get my vote.

Part of the reason I want to do it this way is because every year people say things like, “Devo, man! How can you not vote for them?” With the nominees listed in order for each category, knowing that only the top five will make the cut, it’s much easier to offer up a reason: They’re nine slots less sexy than Kate Bush.

Here are the artists we’ll be considering this year:

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Kate Bush
  • Devo
  • Foo Fighters
  • The Go-Go’s
  • Iron Maiden
  • JAY-Z
  • Chaka Khan
  • Carole King
  • Fela Kuti
  • LL Cool J
  • New York Dolls
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Tina Turner
  • Dionne Warwick

I took this list directly from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame site, so don’t blame me for the way they put JAY-Z in all caps. It’s not an acronym! From here on out, we’ll be calling him “Jay-Z” just like Beyonce does.

We’ll get started in the next couple of days. Thanks for being here.