Popular Culture

12 Musicians & Bands Snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


The honor of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is given out annually to nominees selected by a voting committee from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Controversy has surrounded the Hall of Fame in regards to how the nomination process is run, since only a few individuals are behind it — and they’re not even musicians. To simplify it, artists are eligible to be inducted 25 years after their first recording is released, and looking at some of the current members, popularity has very little to do with it. Here are 12 musicians the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubbed despite record sales, fans, and influence on the music industry.

The Cure

Formed in 1976, English band The Cure has gone through several line-up changes — barring frontman Robert Smith — but still became one of the definitive bands of the goth-rock subgenre. Although Smith dislikes being categorized, especially as goth, The Cure were really one of the first alternative bands to have commercial success before alternative rock went mainstream. The Cure has been eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame since 2003, but they continue to be snubbed to this day, without even a nomination to whet our appetites.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

It’s apparent that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame looks at many factors in deciding who goes on the ballot, and commercial success isn’t always on top of that list. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have won seven Grammy Awards, sold over 55 million albums worldwide and hold a record of eleven number one singles on the Modern Rock charts — not to mention, being one of the best bands of the 90s. This was the first year RHCP met the eligibility requirements, but many fans were convinced that the band’s ability to masterfully fuse alternative rock, punk, funk, rap, psychedelic rock, heavy metal and pop rock would get them a first-ballot induction. Maybe next year…


So, Kiss may not be one of the best rock bands ever (according to some), but in terms of what they’ve brought to the industry since their formation in 1973 — well, that’s another story. They’ve been rocking for 35 years and still outsell many bands to this day. How? Entertainment. Face paint, blood spitting, guitar smoking and fire breathing — when you go see Kiss, you get your money’s worth. Kiss has even been awarded 24 gold records and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Despite that, Rock Hall nominating committee member, Dave Marsh, once said, “Kiss is not a great band, Kiss was never a great band, Kiss never will be a great band, and I have done my share to keep them off the ballot.” Kiss has been eligible for induction since 1999, but were only just nominated this year, to no avail.

The Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys originally formed in 1979 as a hardcore punk group that morphed into the awesome hip-hop, rap/rock group that they are today. They’ve been eligible for the Hall since 2007 — and they were nominated that year — but the RRHOF committee has yet to honor these guys with the induction they deserve. The Beastie Boys remain one of the longest lived hip-hop acts worldwide today; they helped the initial drive of suburban America toward hip-hop, and were influential in areas not limited to music alone, but fashion and politics as well.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper’s career as a rock singer has spanned five decades, but he has yet to be inducted into the Hall of Fame despite being eligible since 1994. Honestly, it seems like the Hall of Fame committee has something against metal, considering some of the inductees. If Alice Cooper didn’t invent rock and roll theatrics, then he was the Henry Ford of the concept — using guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors and baby dolls in his stage shows. This guy embodies rock and roll, and he may be one of the most deplorable snubs of the Hall of Fame.

Tears for Fears

English pop-rock duo Tears for Fears formed back in 1981, and has since sold over 22 million albums worldwide. Many believe that their album The Hurting was a masterpiece — with songs like “Head Over Heels” and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” they hit it big on all levels. In fact, artists — the likes of Gary Jules and Kanye West — sample and cover those classic songs to this day. Despite the fact that they’re completely ingrained in the roots of modern music-culture, they have been eligible for Hall of Fame induction since 2006 with no luck.

Bon Jovi

Formed in 1983, Bon Jovi has managed to last over 25 years, selling over 120 million albums worldwide, and performing over 2,600 concerts that still sell out today. People love to hate Bon Jovi, but there’s no denying that their album Slippery When Wet contained some of the 80s’ best anthems, including “Wanted Dead Or Alive,” “You Give Love A Bad Name,” and “Livin’ On A Prayer.” The band was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and band members Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009 — now they just need to add the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to that list.

Depeche Mode

We realize that we’re talking about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here, but Depeche Mode can simply not be snubbed any longer. The committee has inducted talents outside of the wide rock genre — like Run DMC — so why not include some electronic music? Depeche Mode has been eligible for induction since 2006 and with over 100 million albums and singles sold, they stand today as the most successful electronic band in music history. The committee can ignore Depeche Mode’s commercial success, but it’d be tough to ignore their influence on today’s artists, not only stylistically (the covers speak for themselves) but recording techniques and innovative use of sampling as well.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan — who became eligible for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2008 — influenced many artists in his day, and continues to do so even after his untimely death almost twenty years ago. Vaughan did more to champion blues as a genre in the eighties to a crowd with little exposure than any other single artist. Music producer Niles Rogers once said that “he played blues in an era when blues wasn’t cool, and exposed millions to a true American artform.” We couldn’t agree more.

Billy Idol

Billy Idol launched his solo career in 1981 with his Don’t Stop EP, but came into his own as an MTV staple a year later with hits “White Wedding” and “Dancing With Myself.” Idol has been eligible for induction since 2006, but remains unconsidered and outright snubbed by the Hall of Fame. His “Dancing With Myself” music video sparked a new era of feature film directors trying their hand at music videos, and despite what some critics may think, his hits are forever remembered as rock staples and iconic to an entire decade of music.


Eligible since 1998, Canadian rock band Rush has yet to even be considered by the committee for the Hall of Fame, despite the numerous fan-based efforts behind them. Rush is in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, so doubt surrounds a US induction altogether, but we get the feeling that our committee just don’t care about it anyway. Rush member Neil Peart is still influencing drummers today, Geddy Lee has the voice unmatched by anyone except Meat Loaf, and Alex Lifeson could arguably rank in with the top ten guitarists in the past thirty or so years — and that’s all without mentioning the synthesizers.

Joy Division

Post-punk band Joy Division may have had a brief career, but they may very well be one of the most influential bands of the last 25 years. Formed in 1976 in England, they weren’t quite a household name here in the US — which may be a big reason they’re not in our Hall of Fame — but their landmark song “Love Will Tear Us Apart” had such influence that it could single-handedly represent the missing link between punk and synth pop. If you’re still not convinced of Joy Division’s influence after confessions from U2’s Bono and The Cure, turn on the radio: post-punk revival bands like Interpol, Bloc Party, and the Editors will sound eerily familiar, while countless other popular bands will admit to listening to them.


7 Great Movie Endings Demolished By Test Audiences

Previous article

Megan Fox Engaged — Again

Next article


Comments are closed.

You may also like