Music News

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation will be changing some things up when deciding the 2021 nominees largely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Per, “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, which handles the inductions out of New York, has confirmed…that its Nominating Committee will officially meet in early 2021. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum first said this back in July, but then backtracked.” added, “This means the next ballot will be made and revealed the same year the selected artists are inducted. Typically, the committee meets in the fall to create a ballot for the class that will be inducted the following spring. For instance, the Rock Hall’s Nominating Committee met in fall 2019 to create the ballot for the Class of 2020.”

While this shakeup might be thought of as only minor, it led to speculation that since the Committee meetup was shifted might meet that artists whose first release came out in 1996 might be eligible for induction in 2021. However, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation told, “No, it won’t combine years. Artists will be first eligible in the next year after this current class was eligible. With this year’s class eligible if their first commercial release was no later than 1994, the 2021 class will be eligible if their first commercial release was no later than 1995.”

This new shakeup only adds to the major shakeup the Rock Hall faced in late 2019 when John Sykes was named the new chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame following the exit of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner. Following the announcement of his new position, Sykes said in countless interviews how the Rock Hall needs to evolve and diversify.

Sykes told Rolling Stone, “[Former Rock Hall chairman] Jann [Wenner] himself has said that it’s time to evolve. His work has been to make 1.0, and it’s time to take the Hall to 2.0. That means a more diverse board, that means more women, people of color, people who reflect the kind of music that’s now being inducted. We have to look and feel like the artists that come into our Hall. That’s just the natural transition.”

The Rock Hall has come under fire in recent years for their lack of women inductees, who currently only account for less than eight percent of inductees. While 2021 will be the first true test of Sykes’ pledge for diversity when it comes to nominees, he’s already made moves to make the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s Board of Directors more diverse. In February, he added five new people: Three women and two black men.

The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction special will air on HBO and HBO Max on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 8 p.m. EST. This year’s inductees include Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., T-Rex, and Ahmet Ertegun Award honorees Jon Landau and Irving Azoff.

GALLERY: 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights