Yes, voters have made strides in recent years to induct more women, historically a blind spot for the dudely Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—Sister Rosetta Tharpe was inducted last year. While that’s something to celebrate, it’s also a great reminder of how out-of-touch the institution has been; Tharpe basically invented the genre! Every great woman performer they induct today, in fact, is another reminder that the Hall of Fame is corny.
Such is the case, now that Janet Jackson and Stevie Nicks will finally be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019, along with The Cure, Def Leppard, Radiohead, Roxy Music, and The Zombies. I’ll note that Nicks was technically already in the Hall of Fame as part of Fleetwood Mac, who were inducted in 1998, but now she’s being rightfully inducted as a solo artist. Janet Jackson has been nominated three times (!) to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and now it’s finally happening.
But again, let’s just sit for a second with the fact that this institution has inducted artists like KISS (2014), Green Day (2015), and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (2012), to name a few, before Jackson. And it’s not a question of genre eligibility, if you think Jackson’s music might not be traditional “rock and roll”—artists like Public Enemy and Madonna are in the Hall.
So while I am happy for Jackson to get her spot here, it’s hard to shake the feelings that it’s too little, too late. Perhaps I’ve moved on long ago to the mindset that women don’t need the Hall of Fame to legitimize their lifetime contributions to music? And I swear to god, if the ceremony rolls around and they have some bizarre crop of C-grade pop stars performing a medley of “All For You” and “When I Think Of You,” I’m quitting this charade for good.