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"Dream big and surround yourself with brilliance, even if you end up dressed up like a flower or a sexually transmitted disease."
Peter Gabriel, during his induction speech.
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Established in 1983 by Atlantic Records chairman Ahmet Ertegun, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to celebrating the artists/bands, producers, engineers, and other important figures that helped shape rock and roll as we know it. The museum has been located in Cleveland, Ohio since 1995 in a pyramid shaped building designed by architect I.M Pei. They have many exhibits, some permanent and some not. One notable feature is a list of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, tracing songs from as far back as the 1800s to the present day that have had a significant impact on rock history.

Every year, the Hall inducts six to twelve bands and artists that have helped shape rock and roll. It has to have been at least twenty-five years since their first album for them to qualify. Their genres don't specifically have to be rock, per se: the Hall has inducted performers from the worlds of country, pop, reggae, disco, hip-hop, and R&B/soul over the years. Special awards are also given to non-performers, the Award for Musical Excellence (formerly the Sideman Award, so named for people best associated with performing with other bands and artists), and early influences (such as Robert Johnson and Billie Holiday, whose music is closely associated with the roots of rock and roll). The first group of inductees in 1986 included Elvis Presley, Little Richard, James Brown, The Everly Brothers, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The ceremonies are famous for the final "Superjam," in which inductees, presenters, and special guests all perform a song or medley of songs together.

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The Hall has not been safe from controversy. Many band members and artists (those who aren't already dead, anyway) have refused to attend the ceremony over the years. In one case, an entire band (Sex Pistols) boycotted their induction. Tensions often rise when band members who left the group (or the entire group, if they're reunited) have to speak with the other members (such as Blondie - geez, 2006 was an intense year for the Hall). The Hall has also been criticized for overlooking certain genres and subgenres - particularly metal, with Black Sabbath note , Metallica note , and Def Leppard note  currently being the only metal bands in the Hall. The Hall has also been accused of favoritism and sexism over the years.


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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees:

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     1986 (inaugural class) 

Performers

Early Influences

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Lifetime Achievement

  • John Hammond

     1987 

Performers

Early Influences

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

     1988 

Performers

  • The Beach Boys note 
  • The Beatles note 
  • The Drifters note 
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Supremes note 

Early Influences

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

     1989 

Performers

  • Dion
  • Otis Redding
  • The Rolling Stones note 
  • The Temptations note 
  • Stevie Wonder

Early Influences

  • The Ink Spots note 
  • Bessie Smith
  • The Soul Stirrers note 

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

     1990 

Performers

  • Hank Ballard
  • Bobby Darin
  • Four Tops note 
  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons note 
  • The Kinks note 
  • The Platters note 
  • Simon & Garfunkel note 
  • The Who note 

Early Influences

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

     1991 

Performers

  • LaVern Baker
  • The Byrds note 
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Ike & Tina Turner note 
  • The Impressions note 
  • Wilson Pickett
  • Jimmy Reed

Early Influences

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • Dave Bartholomew
  • Ralph Bass

Lifetime Achievement

     1992 

Performers

  • Bobby "Blue" Bland
  • Booker T & The M.G.'s note 
  • Johnny Cash
  • The Isley Brothers note 
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience note 
  • Sam & Dave note 
  • The Yardbirds note 

Early Influences

  • Elmore James
  • Professor Longhair

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • Leo Fender
  • Bill Graham
  • Doc Pomus

     1993 

Performers

  • Ruth Brown
  • Cream note 
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival note 
  • The Doors note 
  • Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers note 
  • Etta James
  • Van Morrison
  • Sly and the Family Stone note 

Early Influences

  • Dinah Washington

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

     1994 

Performers

  • The Animals note 
  • The Band note 
  • Duane Eddy
  • The Grateful Dead note 
  • Elton John
  • John Lennon note 
  • Bob Marley
  • Rod Stewart note 

Early Influences

  • Willie Dixon

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • Johnny Otis

     1995 

Performers

  • The Allman Brothers Band note 
  • Al Green
  • Janis Joplin
  • Led Zeppelin note 
  • Martha and the Vandellas note 
  • Neil Young note 
  • Frank Zappa

Early Influences

  • The Orioles note 

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • Paul Ackerman

     1996 

Performers

  • David Bowie
  • Gladys Knight & The Pips note 
  • Jefferson Airplane note 
  • Little Willie John
  • Pink Floyd note 
  • The Shirelles note 
  • The Velvet Underground note 

Early Influences

  • Pete Seeger

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • Tom Donahue

     1997 

Performers

  • The Bee Gees note 
  • Buffalo Springfield note 
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash note 
  • The Jackson 5 note 
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Parliament-Funkadelic note 
  • The Young Rascals note 

Early Influences

  • Mahalia Jackson
  • Bill Monroe

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • Syd Nathan

     1998 

Performers

  • Eagles note 
  • Fleetwood Mac note 
  • The Mamas & the Papas note 
  • Lloyd Price
  • Santana note 
  • Gene Vincent

Early Influences

  • Jelly Roll Morton

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

     1999 

Performers

Early Influences

  • Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys note 
  • Charles Brown

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

     2000 

Performers

  • Eric Clapton note 
  • Earth, Wind & Fire note 
  • The Lovin' Spoonful note 
  • The Moonglows note 
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • James Taylor

Early Influences

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Award For Musical Excellence

     2001 

Performers

  • Aerosmith note 
  • Solomon Burke
  • The Flamingos note 
  • Michael Jackson note 
  • Queen note 
  • Paul Simon note 
  • Steely Dan note 
  • Ritchie Valens

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Award For Musical Excellence

     2002 

Performers

  • Isaac Hayes
  • Brenda Lee
  • Gene Pitney
  • The Ramones note 
  • Talking Heads note 
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers note 

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Award For Musical Excellence

  • Chet Atkins

     2003 

Performers

  • AC/DC note 
  • The Clash note 
  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions note 
  • The Police note 
  • The Righteous Brothers note 

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Award For Musical Excellence

  • Benny Benjamin
  • Floyd Cramer
  • Steve Douglas

     2004 

Performers

  • Jackson Browne
  • The Dells note 
  • George Harrison note 
  • Prince
  • Bob Seger
  • Traffic note 
  • ZZ Top note 

Lifetime Achievement

     2005 

Performers

  • Buddy Guy
  • The O'Jays note 
  • The Pretenders note 
  • Percy Sledge
  • U2 note 

Lifetime Achievement

  • Frank Barsalona

     2006 

Performers

  • Black Sabbath note 
  • Blondie note 
  • Miles Davis
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd note 
  • Sex Pistols note 

Lifetime Achievement

     2007 

Performers

  • Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five note 
  • R.E.M. note 
  • The Ronettes note 
  • Patti Smith
  • Van Halen note 

     2008 

Performers

  • Leonard Cohen
  • The Dave Clark Five note 
  • Madonna
  • John Mellencamp
  • The Ventures note 

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • Kenny Gamble And Leon Huff

Award For Musical Excellence

  • Little Walter

     2009 

Performers

  • Jeff Beck note 
  • Little Anthony & The Imperials note 
  • Metallica note 
  • Run–D.M.C. note 
  • Bobby Womack

Early Influences

  • Wanda Jackson

Award For Musical Excellence

     2010 

Performers

  • ABBA note 
  • Jimmy Cliff
  • Genesis note 
  • The Hollies note 
  • The Stooges note 

Non-Perfomers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • David Geffen
  • Otis Blackwell
  • Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
  • Mort Shuman
  • Jesse Stone
  • Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil

     2011 

Performers

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Award For Musical Excellence

  • Leon Russell

     2012 

Performers

  • Beastie Boys note 
  • Donovan
  • Guns N' Roses note 
  • Laura Nyro
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers note 
  • The Small Faces / Faces note 

Early Influences

  • Freddie King

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • Don Kirshner

Award For Musical Excellence

  • Cosimo Matassa
  • Tom Dowd
  • Glyn Johns

     2013 

Performers

  • Heart note 
  • Albert King
  • Randy Newman
  • Public Enemy note 
  • Rush note 
  • Donna Summer

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

     2014 

Performers

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Award For Musical Excellence

  • E Street Band note 

     2015 

Performers

  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band note 
  • Green Day note 
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts note 
  • Lou Reed note 
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble note 
  • Bill Withers

Early Influences

  • The 5 Royales note 

Award For Musical Excellence

     2016 

Performers

  • Cheap Trick note 
  • Chicago note 
  • Deep Purple note 
  • Steve Miller
  • N.W.A note 

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

  • Bert Berns

     2017 

Performers

  • Joan Baez
  • Electric Light Orchestra note 
  • Journey note 
  • Pearl Jam note 
  • Tupac Shakur
  • Yes note 

Award For Musical Excellence

     2018 

Performers

  • Bon Jovi note 
  • The Cars note 
  • Dire Straits note 
  • The Moody Blues note 
  • Nina Simone

Early Influences

  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Singles

  • "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston And His Delta Cats
  • "Runble" by Link Wray
  • "The Twist" by Chubby Checker
  • "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen
  • "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum
  • "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf

     2019 

Performers

  • The Cure note 
  • Def Leppard note 
  • Janet Jackson
  • Stevie Nicks note 
  • Radiohead note 
  • Roxy Music note 
  • The Zombies note 

Singles

  • "Maybe" by The Chantels
  • "Tequila" by The Champs
  • "Money (That’s What I Want)" by Barrett Strong
  • "Twist and Shout" by The Isley Brothers
  • "Leader of the Pack" by The Shangri-Las
  • "Gloria" by The Shadows Of Knight

     2020 

Performers

  • Depeche Mode note 
  • The Doobie Brothers note 
  • Whitney Houston
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • Nine Inch Nails note 
  • T. Rex note 

Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Singles

  • "Time Is on My Side" by Irma Thomas
  • "Shotgun" by Junior Walker and the All-Stars
  • "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
  • "Wild Thing" by The Troggs
  • "The Letter" by The Box Tops

     2021 

Performers

Musical Excellence

Influences

Ahmet Ertegun Award:

  • Clarence Avant


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