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Artists with the Most Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nods Without Being Inducted (Yet)

todayFebruary 3, 2023

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Here’s a list that, frankly, no one wants to be on – artists who have had the most nominations to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without being inducted. Because, whether they admit or not, most artists wants to be inducted, awarded, feted and celebrated.

Three of this year’s nominees to the Rock Hall are creeping up this list. This is the fifth nomination for Rage Against the Machine and the fourth for Kate Bush and The Spinners. It’s the second for Iron Maiden, Soundgarden and A Tribe Called Quest — but we limited this list to artists who have been nominated three or more times without being inducted.

Sometimes, the Rock Hall gives special awards to artists who have been passed over in the regular voting. Nile Rodgers received an award for musical excellence in 2017, the same year his band Chic was passed over for the 11th time. LL Cool J received the same award in 2021 following several snubs. The Rock Hall stresses that all routes to their honors are valid and should be accorded respect. They don’t want anyone to regard special honors as consolation prizes (even if many fans will see them that way).

LL’s musical excellence award removed him from this list. Chic remains on the list because the other members of the group — Bernard Edwards, Tony Thompson, Luci Martin and Norma Jean Wright — have yet to be honored.

Eight of this year’s 14 candidates are first-time nominees, which suggests that time is marching on in the Rock Hall nominating process, as it should. You can also see evidence of that in the “most recent nod” column here. 1950s R&B star Chuck Willis’ most recent nod was in 2011. You have to go back to 2005 for Gram Parsons’ most recent nod, and all the way back to 1988 for Ben E. King’s. Barring some new impetus to induct these artists, their chances appear close to nil. But never say never: Kate Bush had a thoroughly unexpected revival in 2022, which greatly boosted her chances of making it in this year.

Chaka Khan has faced the voters seven times without being inducted – three times on her own and four times fronting Rufus.

To be nominated for the Rock Hall, an artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination.

Here’s how Billboard‘s Andrew Unterberger pegs this year’s nominees in terms of their likelihood of being inducted this year — from least to most likely. Of the six repeat candidates, he is highest on Bush and Soundgarden making it in this year, with the other four deemed less likely to get the job done this year.

Here’s a list of the artists who have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three or more times but haven’t been inducted yet.

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todayFebruary 3, 2023

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