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For decades, music fans have been arguing about who deserves to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hall & Oates were inducted into the Hall — all thanks to the efforts of one famous musician. Here’s a look at what happened behind-the-scenes at the Hall.

Hall & Oates near wood paneling
Hall & Oates | Michael Putland/Getty Images

Why so many people are upset at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Firstly, some background. The Hall has received criticism on many grounds. Some people simply disagree with which artists have chosen to honor. Others feel that the list of artists inducted into the Hall lacks racial and gender diversity. Finally, Billboard reports some feel the Hall’s committee is too White, male, and rich. Jann S. Wenner, the founder of the Hall, has made a conscious effort to diversify it.

This Hall & Oates fan made the difference

One of the Black and relatively young members of the committee is Ahmir Thompson, most known to music fans as Questlove. Together with his band, The Roots, Questlove has performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for years. In addition, he’s produced tracks for many R&B and rap artists, including John Legend, Jay-Z, and Amy Winehouse. 

“I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”

Questlove is a huge fan of Hall & Oates. He pushed the duo onto the ballot for inclusion in the Hall. According to an anonymous member of the committee, Questlove convinced his fellow committee members to vote for Hall & Oates as adeptly as President Frank Underwood from House of Cards would manipulate people into giving him what they wanted.

What Questlove said about Hall & Oates

According to Rolling Stone, Questlove inducted the duo into the Hall with a humorous speech. “The Silver album cover taught me something: that those two guys make beautiful women,” he joked. “They single-handedly reinvented the Carlton Dance for Black people in the ‘hood. Hall and Oates will cure any known illness.”


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In addition, Questlove made a potentially controversial assertion about Hall & Oates’ popularity. “I’m gonna list all the duos in the rock era that were more popular than Hall and Oates… okay, I’m done,” he said. Who knows what Simon & Garfunkel or Sonny & Cher might think of that remark! He continued “They crossed all the boundaries, because that is what great music does.”

Do Hall & Oates like The Roots?

Clearly, Questlove likes Hall & Oates. This raises an interesting question: What do Hall & Oates think of The Roots? “They’re fans of the Roots,” Questolve revealed. “Both artists have sat in with the group on our day gig at the Tonight Show. We’ve had Daryl [Hall] perform with us in Philly on the Fourth of July the year before last. It was miraculous. It was awesome. Playing all those songs, G.E. Smith’s band with T-Bone [Wolk] and all those guys. That was a dream come true.” Questlove and Hall & Oates admire each other — and that admiration led the former to receive a special honor.