Today, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced their 2018 inductees: Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, The Cars, and Nina Simone. Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be given an Early Influence award. This year’s class is predominantly made up of older acts; Bon Jovi is the only band from this year’s crop to have started their career after the 70’s. Simone, the powerhouse singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist whose work continues to be directly referenced and reimagined in modern music by everyone from Michael Buble to Kanye West, was born in 1933 and passed away over a decade ago. Somehow, the immensely influential Simone had not been nominated since her first year of eligibility in ’86. Gospel star and widely recognized rock & roll influencer Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915 – 1973) dates back even further than Simone, and was recognized after a surge in interest in her work and legacy over the last decade.
The induction ceremony, which traditionally includes performances from the inducted bands, offers a unique opportunity for reunions for several of the inducted bands. Dire Straits hasn’t performed in any incarnation since their split in 1992, and frontman Mark Knopfler has yet to indicate whether or not he’s open to the idea of a reunion performance and the induction ceremony. The Moody Blues are willing to reunite with their original keyboardist Mark Pinder, who left the group in 1978, and original flautist/vocalist Ray Thomas, who left the band roughly 15 years ago. “The spirit is always willing,” says current singer Justin Hayward to Rolling Stone, ” I miss them both, particularly Mike Pinder because he was the guy that brought me into the group.”
Bon Jovi, however, is already primed and excited for a reunion with former guitarist Richie Sambora and original bassist Alec John Such at the Rock Hall induction. “They are a huge part of us,” drummer Tico Torres tells Rolling Stone, “We’d love it if they played with us.” Confirms keyboardist David Bryan, “You’ll see the current lineup and then see the original. It should be a fun night.”
The Cars reunited after a 22-year break in 2010 to cut the new LP Move Like This. They had a very brief tour and have been completely inactive since playing Lollapalooza in August of 2011. They have not yet made any indication regarding plans to perform at the induction.
In order to be eligible for induction in 2018, each of the nominated acts had to have released their first commercial recording at least twenty-five years earlier, meaning that all of the nominees this year made their commercial debut by 1992 or earlier. The list of nineteen acts nominated for induction in 2018 included a broad spectrum of styles and genres. Radiohead was nominated this year in their first year of eligibility, but did not punch their ticket to Cleveland on their first ballot.
The nominees were voted on by a collection of over nine-hundred artists, historians, and other key people in the music industry. The voting body then selected their choices for induction based on a number of factors such as musical influence, career length and depth, and music in and of itself, including parameters such as “innovation and superiority in style and technique.”
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame vote also included a fan vote aspect, with the collective results of their fan poll counting as one vote within the deciding body. Fans overwhelmingly supported Bon Jovi in their vote.
The induction will be held at Cleveland’s Public Hall on April 14th, 2018. An edited version will air later on HBO and there will be a radio broadcast on SiriusXM. Ticket details will be announced in the near future.
Congratulations to all of the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. And to the 12 inducted artists that did not get the nod, as well as the long, long list of deserving artists who continue to get snubbed (that’s another conversation for another time). Your fans love you and thank you for your award-worthy work that keeps us singing and dancing through life.
Check out music from each of the inducted acts below:
The Moody Blues – “Forever Autumn” (via EssentialDegnities)
The Cars – “Just What I Needed”
Bon Jovi – “Wanted Dead or Alive”
Nina Simone – “Feeling Good”
Dire Straits – “Money For Nothing”
Sister Rosetta Tharpe – “Up Above My Head”
You can check out the full list of nominees for 2018 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame below:
- Bon Jovi ^
- Dire Straits ^
- Moody Blues ^
- The Cars ^
- Nina Simone ^
- Kate Bush
- Depeche Mode
- J. Geils Band
- Judas Priest
- LL Cool J
- The Meters
- Rage Against the Machine
- Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
- Sister Rosetta Tharpe
- Link Wray
- The Zombies
^ Chosen as 2018 inductee
You can watch Rock & Hall of Fame President & CEO Greg Harris announce the 2018 inductees here.