I’m happy for Annie Lennox, Carly Simon, Pat Benatar, Sylvia Robinson, Elizabeth Cotten, and of course Dolly Parton, now that she’s realized what even the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee knows: She rocks. I’m also thrilled about Harry Belafonte and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
But I’m gutted that nominees Dionne Warwick, Kate Bush and A Tribe Called Quest didn’t make this year’s class of inductees. Overall, I’d say it’s a respectably varied but rather mediocre year for the Rock Hall (especially after the thrills of last year). In terms of progress toward diversity and inclusion, the gains are, well, losses overall.
My research assistant, Loyola Marymount University student Maude Bascome-Duong, and I did our annual numbers crunching, and this is what we found: Of the 28 musicians and industry figures being inducted, six are women (listed above). NPR erroneously stated that’s a record: In fact last year, seven women were inducted. 21.43 percent of this year’s inductees are women; again, that’s better than many previous years but lower than 2021’s 28 percent. The good news is the total percentage of women in the hall continues to rise, ever so slowly: From 8.17 percent to 8.56 percent. Yay, we gained 0.39 percent! Guess I’ll stop worrying about losing control over my own health decisions and throw a rock hall dance party! Sweet dreams indeed!
SCRRRREEETTCCHHH! (That’s the sound of a needle skating across an album, my millennials.)
Feminism requires an understanding of the intersection of identities, as we all know. So, how is the hall doing in terms of racial diversity? Worse than meh.
By our count, six of the inductees are BIPOC (Robinson, Cotten, Jam, Lewis, Belafonte and Lionel Richie). That’s a 14.57 percent drop from 2021 and part of a long-term slide from the hall’s early years, when minorities were often a majority, to this year’s accumulative total of 31.79 percent, down from 2021’s 32.38 percent. So in terms of diversity, that’s .39 percent forward ladies, .59 percent backwards for non-white artists.
Let’s put it this way: Dionne Warwick, Salt N Pepa, the Pointer Sisters, Labelle, Queen Latifah, Big Mama Thornton, Roxanne Shante, Chaka Khan, and Mary J. Blige are still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But now, Duran Duran is.
2 responses to “Sweet dreams are made of meh”
That’s right Duran Duran is. Take a look at their career and influence before you knock it. The fact that it has taken this long for Duran Duran to get in is ridiculous. They were pioneers music video, sold a ton of records, have been consistently releasing music since 1981, and even this last year released a critically praised record that was outstanding. Influence, longevity, large devoted fan base, innovation. So yes, “but now, Duran Duran is.” And they should been in about 2005 or so when they first became eligible.
Dionne Warwick has had FAR more hit records than Duran Duran…and over a far longer period of time. In fact , this is what Wikipedia says about her:
1) Dionne is one of the 40 BIGGEST U.S. HIT MAKERS between 1955 and 1999…based on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart.
2) She is the SECOND MOST CHARTED Female vocalist of the Rock Era
(1955-1999 surpassed ONLY by Aretha Franklin )
3) She is also one of the MOST-CHARTED vocalists of ALL-TIME…with 56 of her singles reaching the Hot 100 between 1962-1998…including 12 Top Tens…and 80 TOTAL SINGLES (either solo or collectively) reaching the Hot 100, R&B, and Adult Contemporary Charts, and…
4) Over 100 MILLION RECORDS SOLD, plus:
5) Six Grammy Awards, plus The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
6) A Hollywood Walk of Fame Star,
7) Induction into The Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame, and
8) 3 songs inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Duran Duran is NOT even in the SAME BALL PARK with Dionne .
She had her first hit record some 21 YEARS BEFORE they were ever even HEARD of.
She should have been inducted DECADES AGO.