5 Musicians Who Should’ve Been Inducted Into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ages Ago

While the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has honored some of the greatest musicians and bands throughout history, certain talents have slipped through the cracks for decades. Some artists — whether deemed “too stadium” or “too folk” or “not culturally relevant enough” — have been left out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And, genre alone cannot be the reason; as MetroWestDailyNews explains, if it was merely about adhering to “rock” norms, the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and Joan Baez (whose country folk lean is undeniable) would be amiss. Below, find five musicians who deserve a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum building | George Rose/Getty Images

1. Warren Zevon 

Warren Zevon’s 1969 album, Wanted Dead or Alive, did not debut to grand success, yet the music that followed has proven his musical competence and lyrical strength. Though he may not be the greatest Billboard success, hits like “Werewolves of London,” “Excitable Boy,” “Lawyers, Guns, and Money,” as well as “Keep Me in Your Heart,” have earned this classical rock artist a place in the Hall of Fame. 

Zevon effortlessly transitions between Folk Rock, Blues Rock, and Hard Rock, capturing multiple aspects of the “rock” feel while evaluating what it means to live in this broken world. 

2. Pat Benatar 

How can the woman who sold out stadiums for ages – rocking out to “Heartbreaker,” “Love Is a Battlefield,” and “Hell Is For Children” — be missing from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? With 4 Billboard Top Ten Hits, the operatically trained vocalist has brought quite a set of pipes to the hard rock world. It’s an insult to ‘80s rock and roll that she is missing from the Hall of Fame. 

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3. John Coltrane 

John Coltrane was an American Jazz Saxophonist and Composer who lived from 1926 until 1967; early in his career, he worked in the bebop and hard bop idioms.

Coltrane is largely responsible for use of modes, and he contributed immensely to the growth of freeform jazz. His impact on jazz and musical arrangements for years following his life have warranted the man a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

4. Tina Turner 

Tina Turner and Ike Turner are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame together, but “The Best” singer deserves an individual slot. Much of her greatest tunes do not include Ike; from “Private Dancer” to “Typical Male” and “What You Get Is What You See,” Turner’s musical career, spanning multiple decades, has been short-changed. Her musical accomplishments are minimized when reduced to her work with Ike Turner. 

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5. Cyndi Lauper 

The singer behind “True Colors” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is nowhere to be found in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Despite 2 #1 hits and 8 top 10 hits, the artist has never been inducted. She has won two Grammy awards, and she boasts a record 14 nominations. While multiple industry peers and fans see her talent, the induction committee needs to catch up to the rest of society.