Most recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 3:35 PM EDT
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(Stacker) - The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was founded in New York in 1983: The first inductees included Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and Buddy Holly, and the ceremony was held in 1986. The physical museum opened in 1995 in Cleveland, though the groundbreaking ceremony came on June 7, 1993, and brought music greats Pete Townshend of the Who, Billy Joel, and Chuck Berry. Eligibility comes 25 years after artists release their first record. Each year a new group is celebrated for their contributions to the music industry.

Stacker has taken a look at the past several years of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. The inductees on the list represent every genre of music from hip hop to heavy metal. They bring experience that spans decades and time periods. There is the folk singer, the grunge band, and the 1980s all-girl pop band. Their contributions are many and the stories of their careers and induction ceremonies vast and interesting—from the artist who trashed the Hall of Fame that honored him, to the bands who lost members or broke up before their inductions only to reunite at ceremonies—these tales are legendary, just like the artists and the industry that birthed them.

Stream your favorite playlist and join Stacker to find out if the artists you love are the most recent inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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(Mike Coppola/WireImage // Getty Images)

Def Leppard

- Year inducted: 2019

Queen’s Brian May inducted Def Leppard into the Rocking & Roll Hall of Fame. They performed several fan favorites at the ceremony, including “Photograph” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” The band’s 1983 album “Pyromania” and their 1987 album “Hysteria” were both RIAA diamond-certified albums.

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(Mike Coppola/WireImage // Getty Images)

Janet Jackson

- Year inducted: 2019

The youngest of the famous Jackson family, Janet Jackson managed to move out of her famous brother’s shadow and create a sound that was all her own with her number one hits including, “That’s the Way Love Goes,” “Together Again,” and “Miss You Much.” Jackson has been nominated for 26 Grammy awards and has won five.

(Kevin Kane // Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)


- Year inducted: 2019

Solo artist and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne inducted British alt band Radiohead into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which was fitting, given that the band named themselves after the song “Radio Head,” from the 1986 Talking Heads album ‘True Stories.” The innovative band came together in 1985, and in 2008 the band won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album for their album “In Rainbows.”

(Jamie McCarthy // Getty Images for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Roxy Music

- Year inducted: 2019

Roxy Music is a 1970s art-rock band known for their ballad “More Than This” which became particularly iconic when Bill Murray sang it in the 2003 Sofia Coppola film “Lost in Translation.” They also had popular albums “Flesh and Blood” and “Avalon.” The band was inducted into the Rock & Rock Hall of Fame by Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon and John Taylor.

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(Mike Coppola/WireImage // Getty Images)

Stevie Nicks

- Year inducted: 2019

Singer and icon Stevie Nicks became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, once in 1998 as a member of Fleetwood Mac and in 2019 as a solo artist. Stevie Nicks won two Grammys for her time with Fleetwood Mac and received 15 Grammy nominations.

(Kevin Kane // Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

The Cure

- Year inducted: 2019

The Cure actually started out as Easy Cure in 1976 with guitarist and vocalist Robert Smith and his schoolmates, bassist Michael Dempsey, drummer Lol Tolhurst, and local guitarist Porl Thompson. Their debut album “Three Imaginary Boys” was released in 1979. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who had the honor of inducting the band into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, called the Cure, “One of the most unique, most brilliant, most heartbreakingly excellent bands.”

(Kevin Kane // Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

The Zombies

- Year inducted: 2019

English rock band the Zombies formed in 1960 and scored a hit in both the UK and the United States with the 1964 song, “She’s Not There.” Several of the band’s songs also made the Billboard Hot 100, including 1969s “Time of the Season” and 1965s “Tell Her No,” both of which they performed at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

(Taya Ovod // Shutterstock)

Depeche Mode

- Year inducted: 2020

Electronic music band Depeche Mode has been nominated for five Grammy awards including a 2009 nod for Best Alternative Music Album for “Sounds of the Universe.” The innovative band has become known for their industrial synth style. Some of their hit songs include, “Personal Jesus,” “The Policy of Truth,” “Just Can’t Get Enough,” and “People Are People.”

(Kevin Mazur // Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame)

Nine Inch Nails

- Year inducted: 2020

The industrial hard rock of the Nine Inch Nails pushed the envelope, and the band created a subgenre of music all their own. Frontman Trent Reznor was actually working as an assistant engineer/janitor at a recording studio when the band recorded their first album. The band went on to win multiple Grammy awards, sell millions of records, and tour with David Bowie.

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(Brian Rasic // Getty Images)

T. Rex

- Year inducted: 2020

British band T. Rex began in the late 60s and gave audiences several popular songs, including, “Bang a Gong (Get it On)” and “Hot Love.” Ringo Starr inducted the band into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and mentioned lead singer Marc Bolan in his speech. Bolan died in 1977 in a car accident and his son Rolan accepted the induction on behalf of his father and the band.

(Donald Kravitz // Getty Images)

The Doobie Brothers

- Year inducted: 2020

The Doobie Brothers got their start in 1970, a year later released their self-titled debut album, and soon after began packing arenas and stadiums with their double drumming and joint vocal harmonies. While less flashy and more stable than most of the bands of their era, the Doobies went on to be inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. While the band broke up in the early 80s and Michael McDonald embarked on a solo career, they got back together and in 2021 are touring for their 50th anniversary.

(Johnny Nunez/WireImage // Getty Images)

The Notorious B.I.G.

- Year inducted: 2020

The Notorious B.I.G.’s posthumous induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame came 23 years after the rapper’s untimely death. His two albums “Ready to Die” and “Life After Death” became hip-hop anthems, and fans felt with them, Biggie predicted his own death. The rapper was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by Sean Combs, which was fitting given that it was Combs who first signed Biggie to Bad Boy Records in 1993, and both musicians and his family paid tribute to Biggie at the ceremony.

(Paras Griffin // Getty Images for 2017 ESSENCE Festival)

Whitney Houston

- Year inducted: 2020

Though Whitney Houston died in 2012 at 48, her posthumous entry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was well-deserved. The pop diva, often referred to as the Voice, was signed to Arista Records by Clive Davis in 1983, and her debut album racked up three #1 hits including, “The Greatest Love of All,” “Saving All My Love for You,” and “How Will I Know.” Houston also went on to win six Grammys and one Emmy, and received more honors in her 48 years than most people do in an entire lifetime.

(Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic // Getty Images)

Carole King

- Year inducted: 2021

Singer/songwriter Carole King won six Grammys, a 2015 Kennedy Center Honor, and the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize. Her 2021 induction marked her second Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction; her first was with songwriting partner and former husband, Gerry Goffin. King even had a musical on Broadway, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

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(Kevin Mazur // Getty Images for FF)

Foo Fighters

- Year inducted: 2021

Known as much for their guitar riffs as they are for their grunge lineage, Foo Fighters continue to thrill fans decades after their beginnings. Frontman Dave Grohl had a host of songs written after Nirvana fell apart following Kurt Cobain’s death, and with them, Grohl created a self-titled Foo Fighters debut album. They have performed everywhere from President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration to David Letterman’s final late show in 2015.

(Alberto E. Rodriguez // Getty Images for The Recording Academy)


- Year inducted: 2021

Mega mogul Jay-Z started out as a rapper and officially became hip hop’s first billionaire in 2019. His musical legacy includes 14 number one albums, 22 Grammys, and in 2017 the man born Shawn Carter in Brooklyn became the first rapper ever inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Jay-Z is a businessman, musician, father to three children, and husband to singer Beyoncé Knowles.

(George Pimentel // Getty Images)

The Go-Go’s

- Year inducted: 2021

While not always taken seriously, the Go-Go’s were one of the first truly successful all-female bands. They joined forces in Los Angeles in 1978, and by 1981 Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock, and Kathy Valentine released their debut U.S. single “Our Lips Are Sealed.” Not only did their 1981 debut album “Beauty & the Beat” hit #1, making them the first all-female rock band to achieve such a feat, but the band also had a Broadway musical.

(Christian Charisius/picture alliance // Getty Images)

Tina Turner

- Year inducted: 2021

From her musical beginnings with abusive husband Ike Turner, Tina Turner proved not only that she was talented but that she was a survivor. Born in 1939 as Anna Mae Bullock, Turner went on to surpass her success with Ike by embarking on a solo career, for which she received her second induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; the first was alongside Ike in 1991. Turner has also received multiple awards during her career.

(Scott Dudelson // Getty Images)

Todd Rundgren

- Year inducted: 2021

While rocker Todd Rundgren was happy for his fans when news of his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction came, he did take issue with the Rock Hall for several reasons. The musician’s first 1970 solo album “Runt” earned him a #1 hit and his second double-album two years later featured hit songs, “Hello It’s Me,” and “I Saw the Light.” Never just a musician, Rundgren also produced music for bands Grand Funk, Badfinger, and the Psychedelic Furs.

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