(April 22, 2024).  Cher, one of the most iconic performers in pop music history, is being inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame — finally — after 60 years of recording hit songs, including five No. 1s, and after more than 30 years of eligibility. 

Foreigner, the once six-man band that started as half-British/half-American in 1976, and whose first five albums were all certified multi-platinum and generated a combined 14 top-40 singles (half of those going top ten), is also in this year’s class of inductees, after more than 20 years of eligibility. 

Ozzy Osbourne, the previously inducted Black Sabbath rocker whose own solo career was even more successful with his first seven individual outings all going multi-platinum (beginning with 1980’s “Crazy Train”-infused Blizzard of Ozz), is finally being inducted as a single entity after nearly two decades of being eligible.

The No. 1 album of America’s bicentennial year was by British rocker Peter Frampton

Peter Frampton, the fellow British rocker whose live 1976 album alone should have punched his ticket long ago, is finally getting in — some five decades after Frampton Comes Alive made history as one of the best selling live albums of all time.  If you think singular albums aren’t enough to secure one’s entry in the RRHoF, please know that others have gotten in with lesser résumés.

Mary J. Blige, the long-anointed Queen of Hip-Hop Soul who’s also mixed it up with a few HoF rockers in her career (notably Sting, U2, Santana, Elton John, Rod Stewart), and appears on virtually every “greatest artist of all time” list, is being inducted with her second nomination.

Dave Matthews Band, easily the greatest “jam band” this side of the Grateful Dead, and the only band of any type to debut seven-consecutive albums in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, is being admitted to the RRHoF just five years after becoming eligible.  Of note, DMB is one of the few acts — and maybe the only HoF one — to chart in Billboard with more live albums than studio ones (13 versus ten).

A Tribe Called Quest, the long-respected hip-hop trio out of Queens, NY, is getting in as the sixth rap group and twelfth rap act overall (including “Musical Excellence” enshrinee LL Cool J).  Tribe is still the hip-hop act with the longest timespan of No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200.  Their first No. 1 — 1996’s Beats, Rhymes & Life — topped the chart in August 1996, while their most recent — 2016’s We Got it From Here… Thank You for Your Service — hit the pinnacle 20 years and three months later.

Like Cher, Kool & the Gang began its career in 1964.

And, finally, Kool & the Gang, the R&B/funk outfit formed 60 years ago in Jersey City, NJ, who reinvented itself as one of the premier R&B/pop acts of the 1980s, is getting into the RRHoF on its first ballot.  After scoring with funk classics “Jungle Boogie,” “Hollywood Swinging” and “Open Sesame” in the mid-1970s, Robert “Kool” Bell’s band became the only R&B “group” to score at least one top-40 pop hit every year from 1979-87, following its reinvention with JT Taylor as lead singer.

Alongside those artists — who are gaining entry via the coveted “Performers” category — are several musicians getting in through less heralded routes.

Jimmy Buffett is being honored posthumously with the Musical Excellence Award, joining MC5, Motown writer/producer Norman Whitfield, and Dionne Warwick — the pop music icon also known for having “out-gangstered” former gangsta rap titans Suge Knight and Snoop Dogg in the 1990s for their excessive use of the “B” word (against Black women) in their song lyrics.

Musical Influence honors are going to three blues heroes: Alexis Korner, John Mayall, and the legendary Big Mama Thornton, while former Motown exec Suzanne de Passe, who helped shape the careers of many iconic acts including the Jackson Five, is receiving entry via the Ahmet Ertegun award.

Aside from the seemingly subjective criteria that separates artists like Jimmy Buffet, Dionne Warwick and others before them from the “Performers” category and into a sub-tiered “Musical Excellence” one, I actually think this is a great induction class.

Each act in the “Performers” category — along with Buffett and Warwick who should’ve been elevated there — certainly has a good case for entry.

The problem with the RRHoF, besides its name and those categorizations, is this trickle approach to allowing entry.  The fact that only a dozen or so acts are inducted each year across all categories is partially to blame for why artists who’ve been eligible for decades are just now getting in.

I get it, the RRHoF has to spread the wealth and keep things interesting each year, with all the hype and debate that each year’s announcements create and a concert/induction ceremony to culminate the cycle.

It’s also become part of the annual ritual for the Hall of Fame to stir the hornets’ nest of rock purists who decry the “unworthy” artists who make the cut and who take the hard stance that the RRHoF simply doesn’t matter as an institution anymore.

But here’s the thing: it still does matter, and the Hall could do a lot to improve its credibility by allowing more artists in each year.

The fact that Mariah Carey, Oasis, Lenny Kravitz and Sade didn’t get in with their nominations this year just means that they will at some later date. And the notion that Dionne Warwick was recognized for “Musical Excellence” this year but an act like Barbra Streisand whose singing career is equally, if not arguably more, iconic hasn’t already been is baffling to say the least.

Such discrepancies easily justify some artists’ visceral reactions to not getting in when they felt they were due.

But even artists who were snubbed in the past eventually come around once they gain entry.

Cher, who just months ago swore she “wouldn’t be in it now if they gave me a million dollars” and who told the RRHoF to go “you-know-what yourself,” is now in it (for free)… or at least she will be when she’s officially enshrined after this year’s ceremony. 

It’s a safe bet that they won’t be paying her a million dollars (not that she needs it) to get her in, and it’s equally safe to wager that she’ll be at the induction ceremony in Cleveland in October 2024 to accept her new honor, with a speech that will no doubt contain some form of eating crow.

Of course, congratulations go to all of this year’s new inductees, living and dead.


DJRob (he/him) is a freelance music blogger from the East Coast who covers R&B, hip-hop, disco, pop, rock and country genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff!  You can follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @djrobblog and on Meta’s Threads.

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4 thoughts on “The 2024 Class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been announced… and the verdict is?”
  1. Great summary as usual. I’m aligned with all of them but among those I support reluctantly is Foreigner – my coming of age years. While great talent and Lou Graham’s vocals are tough to beat, I find “Hot Blooded,” and “Cold as Ice” to be akin to nails on a chalkboard to me. However, whenever I get critical like this, I chalk it up (no pun intended) to FM Radio just overplaying such music rather than it being inherently distasteful!

    1. Thanks for the comment and reading the blog. I love Foreigner and Lou Gramm’s voice in particular. I agree songs like the two you mentioned got overplayed, while smaller hits like “Blue Morning, Blue Day” and “Head Games” were superior IMHO. But “Cold As Ice” holds huge memories for me as it was on the first American Top 40 countdown I listened to and solidified the group as more than a one-hit wonder.

Your thoughts?