Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces 2019 inductees

By Sam Malone

English rock band Radiohead has talked in disdain about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the past, but this morning the band released a statement acknowledging and thanking the voting body for putting them among the seven acts to be inducted to the hall in 2019.

Radiohead’s induction may not seem like a surprise to fans, but what is surprising is the overwhelming number of acts from the U.K. finally receiving recognition. Historically, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has remained mostly American, despite fan votes supporting legendary acts such as The Beatles and Dire Straits, but this year five of the seven acts being inducted come from the U.K., a record breaking number.

Joining the ranks with the prestigious Brit-rock members are Def Leppard, Roxy Music, The Cure and The Zombies. While the U.K. is being represented by these five powerhouses, the only American acts being inducted this year are Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson—two solo female artists. It seems the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is making a statement about the future, and fans have reason to be excited.

Radiohead became eligible to join the Hall in 2018 but was snubbed from induction, and Def Leppard’s American success makes it an obvious fit. The voting body also seems to push through nearly every semi-legendary band from the ‘60s, making The Zombies a shoe-in. What people may not have expected however, is the success of the Cure and Roxy Music, who many may not even be familiar with. Despite one having a cartoonish image and the other claiming most of its success overseas, these groups have influenced countless acts and deserve to take a seat among their predecessors.

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As for Jackson, this was her third nomination since becoming eligible for induction in 2007. Previous snubs for Jackson can be credited once again to the narrow-minded approach the Rock Hall’s voting body has demonstrated when it comes to genre. While it seemed every year Jackson had the “fame” part down, she didn’t quite exhibit the same fist pounding “rock” sound many of her peers dripped with. With her induction breaking genre walls much like the previously mentioned five are breaking overseas boundaries, it’s possible the door has opened for other not-so-rock bands and artists to be honored for their work in years to come.

If that wasn’t enough news, consider Nicks having now been an inductee not once, but twice. With Fleetwood Mac already in the Hall of Fame, it’s absurdly impressive the woman is now being inducted for her undeniably successful solo career. Nicks will join 22 others who have been inducted twice, but she will be the only woman to do so.

With a British Invasion and two women representing America, it’s easy to hope the Rock Hall is turning a tide, opening up opportunities for future inductees, but whether or not this is a fluke or the beginning of a trend is still up in the air.