Diverse Music Legends Elected to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Mary J. Blige, Cher, Foreigner Among Inductees

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In an explosion of sound and, some say, a triumph of talent, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recently welcomed several new inductees representing a broad range of musical genres and influences. The list of honorees includes the soulful Mary J. Blige, the timeless Cher, rock titans Foreigner, the iconic New York City hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, funk masters Kool & The Gang, and the one and only Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. Joining these performers were Dave Matthews Band, known for their anthemic folk-rock tunes, and singer-guitarist Peter Frampton, whose live performances have become the stuff of legend.

Additional guests of honor at the induction event included Alexis Korner, John Mayall, and Big Mama Thornton, who proudly walked away with the Musical Influence Award. Posthumous accolades of the Musical Excellence Award will be given to Jimmy Buffett, MC5, Dionne Warwick, and Norman Whitfield, all significant figures in the music world. Meanwhile, music executive pioneer Suzanne de Passe received the prestigious Ahmet Ertegun Award.

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“Rock ‘n’ roll is more than music, it’s a morphing fusion of sounds that shapes our culture and inspires the generations that follow,” emphasized John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Reflecting on the diversity of this year’s inductees, he pointed out that each honoree had not only transformed the music scene but also served as a beacon for future artists.

The induction ceremony has been scheduled for October 19, taking place at Cleveland, Ohio’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Music fans will have the chance to both witness the event stream live on Disney+ and watch it at their leisure on ABC network. It will also hit Hulu’s screens the following day.

Despite the number of musicians who were nominated but failed to make it to induction this year—including Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, the late Sinéad O’Connor, Sade, Oasis, Eric B. & Rakim, and Jane’s Addiction—the event promises to be one of the most memorable in all of rock ‘n’ roll history.

There was an especially notable effort to have Foreigner, the band behind such staples as “Urgent” and “Hot Blooded,” inducted this year. Big names like Mark Ronson, Jack Black, Slash, Dave Grohl, and Beatles legend Paul McCartney rallied publicly in support of this endeavor. Not without significance, Ronson’s stepfather, Mick Jones, occupies the dual roles of Foreigner’s founding member and lead guitarist.

Osbourne, notorious for leading many a guardian to gasps of disapproval with his devilish aesthetic and heavy, sludgy music, earns his place as a solo artist this year. He had previously been inducted with his band, Black Sabbath.

Four of the newly minted Hall of Famers—Cher, Foreigner, Frampton, and Kool & the Gang—secured their spots on the ballot at their very first attempt. With Cher—one of the few artists with a No. 1 song in six consecutive decades—and Blige, boasting eight multi-platinum albums and nine Grammy Awards, the inductee class of this year is enriched by powerful female influences.

For eligibility into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, an artist must have released their first commercial recording at least a quarter of a century prior. Over a thousand artists, historians, and music industry professionals cast their votes for the nominees. The museum welcomed fan engagement, whether online or onsite, and the top five artists selected by fans were included on a “fans’ ballot,” which was then incorporated into the professional vote tallies.

Some of the defining figures inscribed into the annals of the Hall last year included Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Chaka Khan, “Soul Train” creator Don Cornelius, Kate Bush, and the dearly departed George Michael.