On Saturday morning (Feb. 10), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced 15 artists nominated for induction in 2024: Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Cher, Dave Matthews Band, Eric B. & Rakim, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Jane’s Addiction, Kool & the Gang, Lenny Kravitz, Oasis, Sinead O’Connor, Ozzy Osbourne, Sade and A Tribe Called Quest. About half of those artists will be selected for induction in May.
A Tribe Called Quest is nominated for the third year in a row, and Blige, Dave Matthews Band, Jane’s Addiction and Eric B. & Rakim have each been nominated once before, with the latter first making the shortlist in 2012.
The other 10 artists were all nominated for the first time. Cher, the longest-tenured on the list, has never been nominated as a solo artist or as half of Sonny & Cher, despite being eligible for 34 years. Osbourne, who was inducted with Black Sabbath in 2006, could become the 27th musician to be inducted more than once. The most recent multiple inductee was Tina Turner, who was already in the Hall with Ike & Tina Turner when she was inducted as a solo artist in 2021.
Two nominees were guest performers at the 2023 induction ceremony, suggesting that turning up to help with the big show can help an act’s chances at a nomination. Dave Matthews gave Willie Nelson’s induction speech and performed with him, while Frampton performed with Sheryl Crow. Carey, who inducted Gladys Knight & the Pips back in 1996, is the most inevitable nominee on the list. It might not be this year, but she’s getting in one of these days.
Beyond Oasis, who broke up in 2009 and haven’t played since, Foreigner would potentially be another dramatic reunion. The band still tours with guitarist Mick Jones as the only original member, although vocalist Lou Gramm and most of the other former members from the band’s ‘70s and ‘80s heyday are still alive and have occasionally guested at concerts.
Artists become eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after their first release, meaning anyone who debuted in 1999 was in play this year. In some years, as in 2016 and 2018, no artist warrants a first-year induction, but there are usually at least one or two. However, the class of ‘99 was completely shut out this year, including artists such as Lil Wayne, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and My Morning Jacket. Nobody seemed to have the right combination of commercial success and prestige and acclaim for a first-year nod, such as Eminem or Nirvana in years past, although Wayne seems like a likely future candidate. The youngest act nominated this year, Oasis, are already in their sixth year of eligibility.
Numerous high-profile past nominees, including metal titans Iron Maiden and influential alternative bands such as the Smiths, Soundgarden, Joy Division/New Order, the White Stripes and the Replacements, did not get nods this year. Some of the most nominated artists never inducted, including Chuck Willis, Joe Tex, the J. Geils Band and the Meters, were again left out.
O’Connor, who died last July, has never been nominated before. The emotional outpouring that follows a notable artist’s death can often put them in the Rock Hall conversation, but it doesn’t necessarily get them inducted quickly. Both Whitney Houston and George Michael were inducted more than five years after their deaths.
Detroit protopunk trailblazers the MC5 have been nominated six times over the years, but the death just a week ago of one of the band’s driving forces, guitarist Wayne Kramer, didn’t lead to another nomination this year. Founding Kool & the Gang drummer George “Funky Brown” died in November, and the podcast Who Cares About the Rock Hall? dedicated a recent episode to making a case for the group’s induction. The rock establishment’s stigma against disco has softened in recent years, but Donna Summer took five nominations to get into the Hall. Chic hasn’t made it in with a record 11 nominations, with Nile Rodgers eventually receiving an Award for Musical Excellence.
The Fan Vote
Every year since 2012, the Rock Hall’s website has held an official poll of current nominees, with the winner appearing on a “fan vote” ballot counted alongside the votes of Hall members. The fan vote’s significance is mostly symbolic, but it has been a strong bellwether for who will get in – only once, in 2020, did Dave Matthews Band win the fan vote without getting inducted that year. At press time, DMB was trailing in seventh place for this year’s poll. Osbourne leads the early vote, with Frampton and Foreigner close behind.