Rock Hall Disses Beloved '60s Singer Again

Janet Jackson, Cheap Trick named as nominees
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2015 10:43 AM CDT
Rock Hall Disses Beloved '60s Singer Again
Harry Nilsson is seen in this undated photo.   (YouTube screenshot)

Janet Jackson, Nine Inch Nails, NWA, and Cheap Trick are among the 15 hopefuls vying for a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. With The Cars, Chaka Khan, Steve Miller, Chicago, and Yes among them, the nominees are "representative of different people's definitions of rock," Joel Peresman, CEO of the Hall's foundation, tells USA Today. Apparently absent from people's radar? Beloved 1960s singer Harry Nilsson, who NPR hails as "one of rock's forgotten heroes." Nilsson was "one of the best singers, one of the best writers, one of the best existers, one of the best dreamers," says singer Syd Straw. But despite being eligible for induction for decades—an inductee must have released their first single at least 25 years ago—the rocker has never been nominated.

Though he nabbed two Grammys and wrote hits for Three Dog Night and the Monkees, Nilsson never craved the spotlight so many won't have heard of him, even though the Beatles once called him their "favorite group." That hasn't stopped fans from pushing for his induction. A group calling itself "Put Harry in the Hall" even recorded a song for that purpose. They won't be the only ones disappointed with the latest nominations. "Anything we wrote about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I could count on dozens if not hundreds of responses coming in, saying the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a joke until Styx is in," music writer Randy Lewis says. Indeed, backlash is already abundant on Twitter. "Is it the Pop Music Hall of Fame or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?" reads one tweet. "This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot is a joke," reads another. (More Rock and Roll Hall of Fame stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.