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Classic Artists Still Not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

These stars are still waiting for the induction call

rock and roll hall of fame whitney houston

Duran Duran - 1982

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Each spring, the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame honors artists who have helped shape the legacy of popular music — and frustrates fans whose favorites didn’t make the cut. Musicians become eligible 25 years after their first album release, according to the official rules, provided they “have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence.” The subjectivity of this last line has fueled debate since the first class was named in 1986. The induction committee has evolved with time to embrace a wider spectrum of music, including hip-hop and heavy metal, but the abundance of truly talented musicians has led to a long Rock Hall waiting list. Let’s take a look at some worthwhile artists who are still waiting for their call.

Clare Muller/Redferns

The Smiths

Eligible since: 2009
Argument for induction: Manchester's masters of mope didn't just create a sensation across the pond. Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce also served as muse to John Hughes and a subsequent encoding of American teen confusion. The Smiths survived for merely half a decade, but 1984's self-titled LP up through 1987's Strangeways, Here We Come (along with treasured B-sides and demos) were unforgettably full of jangly might and literary bite. The ensuing rush of Brit-pop phenoms (Blur, Stone Roses et al) can be immediately sourced to the Smiths, and presently, even the most prideful punks can be heard wailing aloud for someone to please, please, please let them get what they want — short of a Smiths reunion, that is.

Ebet Roberts/Redferns

Whitney Houston

Eligible since: 2010
Argument for induction: The prematurely departed queen diva of contemporary R&B came from superlative pedigree − her mom is Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston − but distinguished herself immediately with 1985's Whitney Houston and on through 1990's L.A. Reid/Babyface-produced soul-pop classic I'm Your Baby Tonight both of which sold in the multi-millions. But Whitney Houston's preternatural vocal range was displayed most timelessly on her 1992 cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" and during an unforgettable "The Star-Spangled Banner" to kick off 1991's Super Bowl during Operation Desert Storm. 


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