Nice LGBT Representation in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015 Class
The hall announced Tuesday that it will also welcome Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, who famously sang about loving rock ‘n’ roll, and make Ringo Starr the fourth ex-Beatle enshrined as an individual. Besides Reed, the class includes other posthumous inductees Paul Butterfield and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
The 30th annual induction ceremony will be held at Cleveland, Ohio’s Public Hall next April 18. Public tickets go on sale Thursday.
Green Day made it in the group’s first year of eligibility. The Bay Area band led by Billie Joe Armstrong made the 1990s slackers anthem “Dookie” and hit a peak with the politically-themed concept disc “American Idiot” a decade later. Armstrong also starred in a Broadway musical based on “American Idiot.”
Reed, who died in October 2013 following complications from a liver transplant, is already in the hall as a member of the Velvet Underground. He was at his best exploring the underside of his home city, in the hit “Walk on the Wild Side” and fierce crack-era album “New York.”
Withers brought a jazz and funk touch to 1970s era singer-songwriter material like “Ain’t No Sunshine,” ”Use Me” and “Just the Two of Us.” He hasn’t released new music in nearly three decades.
Jett emerged from the all-female punk-era pioneers the Runaways to lead a band of men with punchy hits, none bigger than the declaration “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
“I’m still collecting my thoughts, but the feeling is surreal. I’ve always focused on making music for the art of it, and its ability to reach others,” Jett said in a written statement. “I am truly honored that my music has been recognized by the great rock and roll community that voted me in.”
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band married blues and rock during the 1960s, led by its leader’s harmonica and the lead guitar of Mike Bloomfield.
Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan was a 1980s prodigy for his work with band Double Trouble on songs like “Pride and Joy” and “Texas Flood.” Like hero Jimi Hendrix his life was cut short, dying in a 1990 plane crash.
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is being given a special award for musical excellence. He anchored the Beatles’ sound and had a productive solo career, even beating his former mates to the top of the charts. He continues to record and tour with a revolving All-Starr Band. The Beatles are already in the hall, as are John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison as solo artists.
The “5” Royales will be inducted in the early influence category. The former gospel group recorded the original version of “Dedicated to the One I Love,” which became a hit later for the Shirelles and the Mamas & the Papas.
Inductees are chosen by a vote of more than 700 artists, historians and music industry representatives. An artist needed to have first released material no later than 1989.
The Rock Hall of Fame, which is based in Cleveland, will open a new exhibit dedicated to the 2015 inductees.