The latest batch of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced Thursday morning on SiriusXM’s Volume channel, and the class of 2019 is a straight-A lineup, featuring deserving — and sometimes ludicrously overlooked — luminaries of R&B (Janet Jackson), post-punk (the Cure), metal (Def Leppard), alternative (Radiohead), glam (Roxy Music) and classic rock (the Zombies, Stevie Nicks).
Janet Jackson’s inclusion is especially exciting. In the #MeToo era, it seems like all the world has been rallying around Miss Jackson — whose career stalled after the “Nipplegate” scandal at Super Bowl LII (reportedly due to the dastardly scheming of disgraced CBS executive Les Moonves), while her equally responsible halftime duet partner, Justin Timberlake, walked away unscathed. Jackson’s recent politically charged “State of the World” tour was a massive success; she recently received the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards; and she’s finally being rightfully heralded as the forerunner to triple-threat divas like Beyoncé and Rihanna. Her hall induction is the perfect way for the three-time hall of fame nominee to complete her comeback story arc.
Another trailblazing woman in music, Nicks — who entered the hall as a member of Fleetwood Mac in 1998 — also makes history, as the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice.
The Cure have been shortlisted for the hall twice, but were passed over; in general, the hall has snubbed what one anonymous insider snarkily dubbed the “mascara bands” of the early-’80s new wave era (Depeche Mode, Joy Division, the Smiths, Duran Duran). But the induction of these goth godfathers, who just celebrated their 40th anniversary at London’s Hyde Park, could (and should) open doors for bands of the 1980s.
Sheffield pop-metal survivors Def Leppard boast one of the greatest against-all-odds, triumph-from-ashes stories in all of rock ’n’ roll, and their production experiments with Mutt Lange on Pyromania and especially the 25-million-selling Hysteria changed the game for commercial hard rock. Incredibly, this is Lep’s first nomination. The band ranked No. 1 in this year’s online fan voting.
The inclusion of British art-rockers Roxy Music is probably this year’s biggest surprise. While the band’s suave and androgynous crooner Bryan Ferry and ambient pioneer Brian Eno arguably deserve their own solo hall nominations, and Roxy were at the forefront of both Britain’s 1970s glam scene and ’80s New Romantic movement, they’ve never been nominated until now — and U.K. glam bands haven’t fared well with the hall in the past.
Conversely, the hall has been kind to ’90s alternative rock bands, so it was actually a shock that Radiohead — one of the most fearless, experimental and critically loved groups to emerge from that decade — didn’t make it through when they were nominated last year, in their first year of eligibility. The second time was the charm for Thom Yorke and company.
And the fourth time was the charm for British Invasion pioneers the Zombies, whose “Time of the Season” captured the spirit of the late ’60s, and whose brilliant orch-pop concept album Odessey and Oracle is considered one of the greatest LPs of any decade.
The nominees that were passed over this time around, on one of the coolest and most competitive ballots in years, were Todd Rundgren, LL Cool J, Kraftwerk, Rage Against the Machine, Devo, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, John Prine and MC5.
A pool of more than 1,000 artists, historians, journalists and music industry professionals selected the 2019 inductees, along with fans who voted online or in person at the Rock Hall’s Cleveland museum. The inductees will be honored at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on March 29, 2019.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
- The Cure at 40: How Robert Smith became an enduring, unlikely rock star
- The sugar-sweet, bittersweet story of Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’
- Watch the Zombies perform at Yahoo
- Why Stevie Nicks is a drag icon