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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHOF) is a
museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items availa ...
and
hall of fame A hall, wall, or walk of fame is a list of individuals, achievements, or animals, usually chosen by a group of electors, to mark their fame in their field. In some cases, these halls of fame consist of actual halls or museums that enshrine the h ...
located in
downtown Cleveland Downtown Cleveland is the central business district of Cleveland, Ohio. It is the economic and symbolic center of the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH Combined Statistical Area. History and redevelopment Reinvestment in the area in the mid-1990s spurre ...

downtown Cleveland
,
Ohio Ohio is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th-largest by area, and with a population of nearly 11.7 million, is the seventh-most populous and tenth-most densely populated. The state's capit ...
,
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
, on the shore of
Lake Erie Lake Erie is the fourth-largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America and the eleventh-largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortes ...
. The museum documents the history of
rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and later, particularly in the United States and ...
and the artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have influenced its development. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by
Ahmet Ertegun Ahmet Ertegun (, Turkish spelling: Ahmet Ertegün (); – December 14, 2006) was a Turkish-American businessman, songwriter and philanthropist. Ertegun was the co-founder and president of Atlantic Records. He discovered and championed many lead ...
, founder and chairman of
Atlantic Records Atlantic Recording Corporation (simply known as Atlantic Records) is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson. Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most impo ...
. After a long search for the right city, Cleveland was chosen in 1986 as the Hall of Fame's permanent home. Architect I. M. Pei designed the new museum, and it was dedicated on September 1, 1995.


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation

The RRHOF Foundation was established in 1983 by
Ahmet Ertegun Ahmet Ertegun (, Turkish spelling: Ahmet Ertegün (); – December 14, 2006) was a Turkish-American businessman, songwriter and philanthropist. Ertegun was the co-founder and president of Atlantic Records. He discovered and championed many lead ...
, who assembled a team that included ''
Rolling Stone ''Rolling Stone'' is an American monthly magazine that focuses on music, politics, and popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its cove ...
'' publisher Jann S. Wenner, record executives
Seymour Stein Seymour Stein (born April 18, 1942) is an entrepreneur and music executive. He co-founded Sire Records and was Vice President of Warner Bros. Records. With Sire, Stein signed bands that became central to the new wave era of the 1970s and 80s, inclu ...
,
Bob Krasnow Robert Alan Krasnow (July 20, 1934 – December 11, 2016) was an American record label executive and entrepreneur who had a long and successful career in the music industry. He founded Blue Thumb Records, later became chairman of Elektra Records, ...
, and Noreen Woods, and attorneys
Allen Grubman Allen J. Grubman is an American entertainment lawyer. Grubman was born and raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and graduated from City College of New York and Brooklyn Law School. His clients include superstars and top record companies and thei ...
and Suzan Evans. The Foundation began inducting artists in 1986, but the Hall of Fame still had no home. The search committee considered several cities, including Philadelphia (home of
Bill Haley William John Clifton Haley (; July 6, 1925 – February 9, 1981) was a pioneering American rock and roll musician. He is credited by many with first popularizing this form of music in the early 1950s with his group Bill Haley & His Comets and mi ...
and ''
American Bandstand ''American Bandstand'' is an American music-performance and dance television program that aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989, and was hosted from 1956 until its final season by Dick Clark, who also served as the program's producer. It fea ...
''), Memphis (home of
Sun Studio Sun Studio is a recording studio opened by rock-and-roll pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 3, 1950. It was originally called Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label b ...

Sun Studio
s and
Stax Records Stax Records is an American record label, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee. Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the label changed its name to Stax Records in 1961 and shared its operations with Volt Records, a sister label created to avoid ...

Stax Records
), Detroit (home of
Motown Records Motown Records is an American record label owned by the Universal Music Group. It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959, and incorporated as Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960. Its name, a portmanteau of ...
), Cincinnati (home of King Records), New York City, and Cleveland. Cleveland lobbied for the museum, with civic leaders in Cleveland pledging $65 million in public money to fund the construction, and citing that WJW disc jockey
Alan Freed Albert James "Alan" Freed (December 15, 1921 – January 20, 1965) was an American disc jockey. He also produced and promoted large traveling concerts with various acts, helping to spread the importance of rock and roll music throughout Nort ...
both coined the term "
rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music that evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s.Jim Dawson and Steve Propes, ''What Was the First Rock'n'Roll Record ...
" and heavily promoted the new genre—and that Cleveland was the location of Freed's
Moondog Coronation Ball 250px, Concert poster The Moondog Coronation Ball was a concert held at the Cleveland Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 21, 1952. It is generally accepted as the first major rock and roll concert. Background Alan Freed had joined WJW-Radio in 195 ...
, often credited as the first major rock and roll concert. Freed was also a member of the hall of fame's inaugural class of inductees in 1986. In addition, Cleveland cited radio station
WMMS WMMS (100.7 FM) – branded 100.7 WMMS: The Buzzard – is a commercial radio station licensed to Cleveland, Ohio, serving Greater Cleveland and much of surrounding Northeast Ohio. Widely regarded as one of the most influential rock ...
, which played a key role in breaking several major acts in the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s, including
David Bowie David Robert Jones (8 January 194710 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie ( ), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry and is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of ...

David Bowie
, who began his first U.S. tour in the city,
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he received critical acclaim for his ea ...
,
Roxy Music Roxy Music were an English rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry—who became the band's lead singer and main songwriter—and bass guitarist Graham Simpson. The other longtime members were Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone an ...

Roxy Music
, and Rush among many others. Cleveland business leaders and media companies organized a petition demonstrating the city's support that was signed by 600,000 Northeast Ohio residents, and Cleveland ranked first in a 1986 ''USA Today'' poll asking where the Hall of Fame should be located. On May 5, 1986, the Hall of Fame Foundation chose Cleveland as the permanent home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Author
Peter Guralnick Peter Guralnick (born December 15, 1943, in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American music critic, author, and screenwriter. He specializes in the history of early rock and roll and has written on Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips, and Sam Cooke. Career G ...
said the hall should have been located in Memphis in a 2016 interview. Cleveland may also have been chosen as the organization's site because the city offered the best financial package. As ''The Plain Dealer'' music critic Michael Norman noted, "It was $65 million... Cleveland wanted it here and put up the money." During early discussions on where to build the Hall of Fame and Museum, the Foundation's board considered a site along the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland. Ultimately, the chosen location was along East Ninth Street in downtown by
Lake Erie Lake Erie is the fourth-largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America and the eleventh-largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortes ...
, east of
Cleveland Stadium Cleveland Stadium, commonly known as Municipal Stadium or Lakefront Stadium, was a multi-purpose stadium located in Cleveland, Ohio. It was one of the early multi-purpose stadiums, built to accommodate both baseball and football. The stadium opened ...
. At one point in the planning phase, when a financing gap existed, planners proposed locating the Rock Hall in the then-vacant May Company Building but finally decided to commission architect I. M. Pei to design a new building. Initial CEO Dr. Larry R. Thompson facilitated I. M. Pei in designs for the site. Pei came up with the idea of a tower with a glass pyramid protruding from it. Pei initially planned the tower to be high, but was forced to reduce it to due to the structure's proximity to
Burke Lakefront Airport Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport is a public airport on the shore of Lake Erie, in the northeast part of downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It's classified as a general aviation airport and is an FAA designated reliever to Cleveland Hopk ...
. The building's base is approximately .


RRHOF and Museum building

The groundbreaking ceremony took place on June 7, 1993.
Pete Townshend Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend (born 19 May 1945) is an English guitarist, singer and composer. He is co-founder, leader, guitarist, secondary lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the Who, one of the most influential rock bands of the 196 ...
,
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Nicknamed the "Father of Rock and Roll", Berry refined and developed rhythm an ...

Chuck Berry
,
Billy Joel William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first major hit and signature song of the same name as well as the similarly named 1973 album, he has le ...
,
Sam Phillips Samuel Cornelius Phillips (January 5, 1923 – July 30, 2003) was an American record producer. He was the founder of Sun Records and Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, where he produced recordings by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ca ...
,
Ruth Brown Ruth Alston Brown (née Weston, January 12, 1928 – November 17, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter and actress, sometimes known as the "Queen of R&B". She was noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for A ...
,
Sam Moore Samuel David Moore (born October 12, 1935) is an American vocalist who was a member of the soul and R&B group Sam & Dave from 1961 to 1981. He is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame (for "Soul Man"), and the Vocal G ...
of
Sam and Dave Sam, SAM or variants may refer to: Places * SAM, IATA airport code for Salamo Airport in Papua, New Guinea * SAM, IOC and FIFA country code for American Samoa * Sam, Benin * Sam, Boulkiemdé, Burkina Faso * Sam, Bourzanga, Burkina Faso * Sam, Kong ...
,
Carl Gardner Carl Edward Gardner (April 29, 1928 – June 12, 2011) was an American singer, best known as the foremost member and founder of The Coasters. Known for the 1958 song "Yakety Yak", which spent a week as number one on the Hot 100 pop list, he was in ...
of
the Coasters The Coasters are an American rhythm and blues/rock and roll vocal group who had a string of hits in the late 1950s. Beginning with "Searchin'" and "Young Blood", their most memorable songs were written by the songwriting and producing team of Lei ...
and
Dave Pirner David Anthony Pirner (born April 16, 1964) is an American songwriter, singer, and producer best known as the lead vocalist and frontman for the alternative rock band Soul Asylum. Early life and work Pirner was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He t ...
of
Soul Asylum Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their 1993 hit "Runaway Train" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. The band was originally called Loud Fast Rules, with a lineup consisting of Dave ...
all appeared at the groundbreaking. The museum was dedicated on September 1, 1995, with the ribbon being cut by an ensemble that included
Yoko Ono Yoko Ono Lennon ( ; ja, 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, usually spelled in katakana ; born February 18, 1933) is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist. Her work also encompasses performance art, which she performs in both ...

Yoko Ono
and
Little Richard Richard Wayne Penniman (December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020), known as Little Richard, was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was an influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades. Nicknamed "The Innovator, The Ori ...

Little Richard
, among others, before a crowd of more than 10,000 people. The following night an all-star concert was held at Cleveland Stadium. It featured
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Nicknamed the "Father of Rock and Roll", Berry refined and developed rhythm an ...

Chuck Berry
,
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture for more than 50 ...

Bob Dylan
,
Al Green Albert Leornes Greene (born April 13, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer best known for recording a series of soul hit singles in the early 1970s, including "Take Me to the River", "Tired of Being Alone", "I'm Still in L ...

Al Green
,
Jerry Lee Lewis Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American singer and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He has been described as "rock n' roll's first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the twentieth century. ...
,
Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where ...

Aretha Franklin
,
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he received critical acclaim for his ea ...
,
Iggy Pop James Newell Osterberg Jr. (born April 21, 1947), known professionally as Iggy Pop, is an American musician, singer, lyricist, record producer and actor. Designated the "Godfather of Punk", he was the vocalist and lyricist of influential proto-p ...
,
John Fogerty John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Together with Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and his brother Tom Fogerty, he founded the band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), for which he was the lead singer ...

John Fogerty
,
John Mellencamp John J Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter, actor, and film director. He is known for his catchy, populist brand of he ...
, and many others. In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, the museum documents the entire history of rock and roll, regardless of induction status. Hall of Fame inductees are honored in a special exhibit located in a wing that juts out over Lake Erie. Since 1986, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has selected new inductees. The formal induction ceremony has been held in New York City 26 times (1986–92, 1994–96, 1998–2008, 2010–11, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019); twice in Los Angeles (1993 and 2013); and five times in the hall of fame's home in Cleveland (1997, 2009, 2012, 2015, and 2018). As of 2018, the induction ceremonies alternate each year between New York and Cleveland. The 2009 and 2012 induction weeks were made possible by a public–private partnership between the City of Cleveland, the State of
Ohio Ohio is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th-largest by area, and with a population of nearly 11.7 million, is the seventh-most populous and tenth-most densely populated. The state's capit ...
, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and local foundations, corporations, civic organizations and individuals. Collectively these entities invested $5.8 million in 2009 and $7.9 million in 2012 to produce a week of events including free concerts, a gospel celebration, exhibition openings, free admission to the museum, and induction ceremonies at Public Hall. Millions viewed the television broadcast of the Cleveland inductions; tens of thousands traveled to Ohio during induction week to participate in the events. The economic impact of the 2009 induction week activities was more than $13 million, and it provided an additional $20 million in media exposure for the region. The 2012 induction week yielded similar results.


Layout

The building contains seven levels. On the lower level is the Ahmet M. Ertegun Exhibition Hall, the museum's main gallery. It includes exhibits on the roots of rock and roll (
gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out; in this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words and deeds of Jesus ...
,
blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, fiel ...
,
rhythm & blues Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African ...
and
folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media ...
,
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state, as a non-sovereig ...
and bluegrass). It also features exhibits on cities that have had a major impact on rock and roll:
Memphis Memphis is the name of: *Memphis, Egypt, a former capital of Egypt *Memphis, Tennessee, a major American city Memphis may also refer to: Places United States *Memphis, Alabama *Memphis, Florida *Memphis, Indiana *Memphis, Michigan *Memphis, Mis ...
,
Detroit (strait) , nicknames = The Motor City, Motown, Renaissance City, City of the Straits, The D, D-Town, Hockeytown, The Automotive Capital of the World, Rock City, The 313, The Arsenal of Democracy, The Town That Put The Worl ...
,
London London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its estuary leading to the North Sea. London has been a major settlement for two millen ...
,
Liverpool Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. Its population in 2019 was approximately , making it the tenth-largest English district by population. Liverpool's metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the United Kin ...
,
San Francisco San Francisco (/ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish for "Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and financial center in Northern California. San Francisco is the 16th most populous city in ...
,
Los Angeles Los Angeles (; es, Los Ángeles; "The Angels"), officially the City of Los Angeles and often abbreviated as L.A., is the largest city in California. With an estimated population of nearly four million people, it is the second most populous ...
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * ''Ne ...

New York
, and
Seattle Seattle ( ) is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. ...
. There are exhibits about
soul music Soul music (often referred to simply as soul) is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community throughout the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and ...
, the Fifties,
Sun Records Sun Records is an American independent record label founded by producer Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee in February 1952. Sun was the first label to record Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash ...
,
hip hop music#REDIRECT Hip hop music#REDIRECT Hip hop music {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
, Cleveland's rock and roll legacy, the music of the Midwest, rock and roll radio and dee-jays, and the many protests against rock and roll. This gallery also has exhibits that focus on individual artists, including
the Beatles The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The group, whose best-known line-up comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, are regarded as the most influential band of all time. They were int ...
,
the Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. Diverging from the popular pop rock of the early-1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty, heavier-driven sound that came to define hard rock. Their first stable ...
,
Jimi Hendrix James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most ...
and others. Finally, the Ahmet M. Ertegun Exhibition Hall includes a theatre that features films on various subjects such as
American Bandstand ''American Bandstand'' is an American music-performance and dance television program that aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989, and was hosted from 1956 until its final season by Dick Clark, who also served as the program's producer. It fea ...
. The first floor of the museum is the entrance level. It includes a cafe, a stage that the museum uses for various special performances and events throughout the year, and a section called "Backstage Stories." The second floor includes several interactive kiosks that feature programs on
one-hit wonders A one-hit wonder is any entity that achieves mainstream popularity, often for only one piece of work, and becomes known among the general public solely for that momentary success. The term is most commonly used in regard to music performers with ...
and the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. This level also includes a gallery with artifact-filled exhibits about
Les Paul Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009), known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, and his prototype ...

Les Paul
,
Alan Freed Albert James "Alan" Freed (December 15, 1921 – January 20, 1965) was an American disc jockey. He also produced and promoted large traveling concerts with various acts, helping to spread the importance of rock and roll music throughout Nort ...
,
Sam Phillips Samuel Cornelius Phillips (January 5, 1923 – July 30, 2003) was an American record producer. He was the founder of Sun Records and Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, where he produced recordings by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ca ...
and the evolution of audio technology. Visitors enter the Hall of Fame section of the museum on the third floor. This section includes "The Power of Rock Experience," which includes one of
Jonathan Demme Robert Jonathan Demme ( ; February 22, 1944 – April 26, 2017) was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of film and television who earned widespread acclaim. Originally beginning his career under B-movie producer Roger Corm ...
's final works, a film shown in the Connor Theater. The film includes musical highlights from some of the Hall's induction ceremonies. Visitors exit the Hall of Fame section on the fourth floor. That level features the Foster Theater, a state-of-the-art 3-D theater that is used for special events and programs. Finally, the top two levels of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame feature large, temporary exhibits. Over the years, numerous exhibits have been installed on these two levels, including exhibits about
Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known simply as Elvis, was an American singer, musician and actor. He is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century and is often referred to ...

Elvis Presley
,
hip-hop Hip hop or hip-hop is a culture and art movement that was created by African Americans, Latino Americans and Caribbean Americans in the Bronx, New York City. The origin of the name is often disputed. It is also argued as to whether hip hop star ...
,
the Supremes The Supremes were an American female singing group and a premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most commercially successful of Motown's acts and the most s ...
,
the Who The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered o ...
,
U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin, formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). I ...

U2
,
John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 19408 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as the founder, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist of the Beatl ...
,
the Clash The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 who were a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. They also contributed to the and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a varie ...
, the
Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band is known for its eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and psychedelic rock; for live performanc ...
,
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he received critical acclaim for his ea ...
, ''Women Who Rock'', and the
Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. Diverging from the popular pop rock of the early-1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty, heavier-driven sound that came to define hard rock. Their first stable ...
.


Architecture

Designed by I. M. Pei and structurally engineered by Leslie E. Robertson Associates, the building rises above the shores of
Lake Erie Lake Erie is the fourth-largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America and the eleventh-largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortes ...
. It is a combination of geometric forms and cantilevered spaces that are anchored by a 162-foot tower. The tower supports a dual-triangular-shaped glass "tent" that extends (at its base) onto a 65,000-square-foot plaza that provides a main entry facade. The building houses more than 55,000 square feet of exhibition space, as well as administrative offices, a store, and a café. "In designing this building," Pei said, "it was my intention to echo the energy of rock and roll. I have consciously used an architectural vocabulary that is bold and new, and I hope the building will become a dramatic landmark for the city of
Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the county seat of Cuyahoga County. It is located along the southern shore of Lake Erie, across the U.S. maritime border with Canada and approximate ...

Cleveland
and for fans of
rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music that evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s.Jim Dawson and Steve Propes, ''What Was the First Rock'n'Roll Record ...
around the world."


New York City Annex

In 2006 the RRHOF partnered with three entertainment production companies to create a branch museum in New York City. On November 18, 2008, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex NYC opened in
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City, and coextensive with the County of New York, one of the original counties of t ...

Manhattan
's
SoHo SoHo, sometimes written Soho, is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan in New York City. Since the 20th century it has been the location of many artists' lofts and art galleries, and has also been known for its variety of shops ranging from trendy up ...
district. Located at 76 Mercer Street just west of
Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) * Broadway theatre, theatrical productions in professional theatres near Broadway, Manhattan, New York City, U.S. ** Broadway (Manhattan), the street **Broadway Theatre (53rd Str ...
, the Annex occupied an underground space of . The branch museum operated in much the same way as its Cleveland parent, featuring archetypal display pieces like
Prince A prince is a male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary, in some European states. The femi ...
's coat from '' Purple Rain'',
David Byrne David Byrne (; born 14 May 1952) is a Scottish-American singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, writer, music theorist, and filmmaker, who was a founding member and the principal songwriter, lead singer, and guitarist of the American n ...

David Byrne
's "big suit" from ''
Stop Making Sense ''Stop Making Sense'' is a 1984 American concert film featuring a live performance by American rock band Talking Heads. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it was shot over the course of four nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theater in December 1983, as th ...
'', and
Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known simply as Elvis, was an American singer, musician and actor. He is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century and is often referred to ...

Elvis Presley
's motorcycle jacket and his Bible. But from its start the Annex also had a distinct
New York area The New York metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass, at , and one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. The metropolitan area includes New York City (the most populous city in the Unit ...
focus that made plenty of space for big items like the phone booth from CBGB, layered thick with band stickers over the decades; Bruce Springsteen's own 1957 Chevrolet; a special gallery reserved for the city's musicians; and an intricate scale model of Manhattan highlighting sites of rock history. Jann Wenner served as chairman of the board of the Annex. At its opening night gala, he inadvertently created a controversy after he told a reporter, "One of the small sad things is we didn't do it in New York in the first place." He later expressed regret for his remark which he said had been misconstrued and clarified that "I am absolutely delighted that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is in Cleveland." The Annex closed on January 3, 2010, its quick demise reportedly due to the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 and a subsequent downturn in the city's tourism. The museum closed with a final major exhibition on
John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 19408 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as the founder, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist of the Beatl ...
and his years in New York City.


Exhibit history

Since 1997, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has featured numerous temporary exhibits that range in size from major exhibits that fill the top two floors of the museum to smaller exhibits that are often installed in the main exhibition hall on the lower level. The museum's first major exhibit opened on May 10, 1997. It was called ''I Want to Take You Higher: The Psychedelic Era, 1965–1969''. It included memorabilia from numerous artists including
John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 19408 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as the founder, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist of the Beatl ...
, Eric Clapton, John Sebastian, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin, as well as items related to the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and 1969's Woodstock. That exhibit was followed by ''Elvis is in the Building'', which ran from August 8, 1998, to September 5, 1999. This year-long tribute was the first exhibit devoted to a single artist, Elvis Presley—the "King of Rock and Roll" and the first inductee into the RRHOF, in 1986. Graceland supplied a significant selection of representative artifacts for this special tribute spanning Elvis' life and legendary career. Next, the museum curated ''Roots, Rhymes and Rage: The Hip-Hop Story''. That was the first major museum exhibit to focus on hip-hop. It ran from November 11, 1999, to August 6, 2000. It was followed by ''Rock Style'', an exhibit that focused on rock and roll and fashion. It featured clothing from Buddy Holly to Alice Cooper, from Ray Charles to
David Bowie David Robert Jones (8 January 194710 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie ( ), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry and is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of ...

David Bowie
and from Smokey Robinson to Sly Stone. After it closed in Cleveland, ''Rock Style'' traveled to other museums in the U.S. Other temporary exhibits have included ''Lennon: His Life and Work'', which ran from October 20, 2000, to January 1, 2003. It was followed by ''In the Name of Love: Two Decades of
U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin, formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). I ...

U2
'' and then ''Reflections: The Mary Wilson (singer), Mary Wilson Supreme Legacy Collection''. A major exhibition titled ''Louder than Words: Rock, Power, Politics'' was on display during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Other large temporary exhibits have focused on
the Clash The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 who were a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. They also contributed to the and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a varie ...
(''Revolution Rock: The Story of the Clash''), the Doors (''Break on Through: The Lasting Legacy of the Doors''),
the Who The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered o ...
's ''Tommy (The Who album), Tommy'' (''Tommy: The Amazing Journey''), and
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he received critical acclaim for his ea ...
(''From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen''). Another thematic temporary exhibit focused on the role of women in rock and roll (''Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power''). Many of these exhibits travel to other museums after closing in Cleveland. A major temporary exhibit in 2017 told the story and impact of ''
Rolling Stone ''Rolling Stone'' is an American monthly magazine that focuses on music, politics, and popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its cove ...
'' magazine. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also curates many smaller temporary exhibits. Over the years, these exhibits have focused on such topics as the Vans Warped Tour, the Concert for Bangladesh, Woodstock's 40th and 50th anniversaries, Austin City Limits, the Monterey International Pop Festival, Roy Orbison, Motown's 50th anniversary, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Marty Stuart, Paul Simon, Graham Nash,
John Mellencamp John J Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter, actor, and film director. He is known for his catchy, populist brand of he ...
, and Geddy Lee's basses. The museum also devotes exhibits to photography and artwork related to rock and roll. Among the photographers whose work has been featured at the Hall of Fame are George Kalinsky, Alfred Wertheimer, Tommy Edwards, Kevin Mazur, Janet Macoska, Lynn Goldsmith, Linda McCartney, Mike McCartney, Robert Alford, and George Shuba. The museum also featured the artwork of Philip Burke in one of its temporary exhibits, and a later exhibit featured Herb Ritts. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum produces numerous public programs, including concerts, interviews, lectures, film screenings, and other events that help tell the story of rock and roll. Every February, the museum celebrates Black History Month by hosting concerts, film screenings and lectures that illustrate the important role African-Americans have played in the history of rock and roll. Since the program began in 1996, such artists as Robert Lockwood, Jr., the Temptations, Charles Brown (musician), Charles Brown,
Ruth Brown Ruth Alston Brown (née Weston, January 12, 1928 – November 17, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter and actress, sometimes known as the "Queen of R&B". She was noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for A ...
, the Ohio Players, Lloyd Price, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and
Al Green Albert Leornes Greene (born April 13, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer best known for recording a series of soul hit singles in the early 1970s, including "Take Me to the River", "Tired of Being Alone", "I'm Still in L ...

Al Green
have appeared at the museum during Black History Month. Another program is the Hall of Fame Series. This series began in April 1996 and features interviews with Hall of Fame inductees in rare and intimate settings, most often in the Museum's Foster Theater. The interviews are usually followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience and, often, a performance by the inductee. Among the inductees who have taken part in this series are Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of Run-D.M.C., Lloyd Price, Martha Reeves, Marky Ramone,
Seymour Stein Seymour Stein (born April 18, 1942) is an entrepreneur and music executive. He co-founded Sire Records and was Vice President of Warner Bros. Records. With Sire, Stein signed bands that became central to the new wave era of the 1970s and 80s, inclu ...
, Ray Manzarek of the Doors, Mary Wilson (singer), Mary Wilson of
the Supremes The Supremes were an American female singing group and a premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most commercially successful of Motown's acts and the most s ...
, Ronnie Spector, Bootsy Collins, Ann Wilson, Ann and Nancy Wilson (rock musician), Nancy Wilson of Heart (band), Heart, Dennis Edwards of the Temptations, and Jorma Kaukonen of the Jefferson Airplane. A similar program is the Legends Series. The only real difference between this program and the Hall of Fame Series is that it features artists who have not yet been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Peter Hook of Joy Division, Spinderella of Salt n Pepa, Tommy James, and the Chi-Lites are among the artists who have participated in the Legends Series. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's most acclaimed program is the annual American Music Masters series. Each year the museum celebrates one of the Hall's inductees with a week-long series of programs that include interviews, film screenings, and, often, a special exhibit. The celebration ends with an all-star concert held at a Cleveland theater. The concerts include a diverse mix of artists, from Hall of Fame inductees to contemporary musicians. The American Music Masters series began in 1996 with ''Hard Travelin': The Life and Legacy of Pete Seeger''. Since then, the programs have honored the following inductees: Jimmie Rodgers (country singer), Jimmie Rodgers (1997), Robert Johnson (1998), Louis Jordan (1999), Muddy Waters (2000), Bessie Smith (2001), Hank Williams (2002), Buddy Holly (2003), Lead Belly (2004), Sam Cooke (2005), Roy Orbison (2006),
Jerry Lee Lewis Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American singer and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He has been described as "rock n' roll's first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the twentieth century. ...
(2007),
Les Paul Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009), known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, and his prototype ...

Les Paul
(2008), Janis Joplin (2009), Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew (2010),
Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where ...

Aretha Franklin
(2011),
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Nicknamed the "Father of Rock and Roll", Berry refined and developed rhythm an ...

Chuck Berry
(2012), The Everly Brothers (2014) and Johnny Cash (2017). In 2019 the concert series' format was retooled and the event was renamed the Rock Hall Honors, in which the honored performer is joined in concert by guests of their choice. The first Rock Hall Honors concert, featuring Mavis Staples, was performed in Cleveland in September 2019. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame won the 2020 Webby Award, 2020 Webby People's Voice Award for Cultural Institution in the category Web.


Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame museum curator James Henke, along with "the museum's curatorial staff and numerous rock critics and music experts", created an unordered list of "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". The list is part of a permanent exhibit at the museum, and was envisioned as part of the museum from its opening in 1995. It contains songs recorded from the Stagger Lee (song), 1920s through the 1990s. The oldest song on the list is "Wabash Cannonball", written circa 1882 and credited to J. A. Roff. Since then, however, an additional 160 songs have been added, and the list is now simply referred to as "The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". The most recent songs on the list are Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy (Gnarls Barkley song), Crazy" and My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade", both released in 2006. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones are the most represented on the 660-song list, with eight songs each.


Artists with four or more songs

* 8 The Beatles * 8 The Rolling Stones * 7
Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known simply as Elvis, was an American singer, musician and actor. He is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century and is often referred to ...

Elvis Presley
* 5 The Beach Boys * 5
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Nicknamed the "Father of Rock and Roll", Berry refined and developed rhythm an ...

Chuck Berry
* 5
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture for more than 50 ...

Bob Dylan
* 5 Led Zeppelin * 5
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he received critical acclaim for his ea ...
* 5 Stevie Wonder * 4
David Bowie David Robert Jones (8 January 194710 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie ( ), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry and is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of ...

David Bowie
* 4 James Brown * 4 Ray Charles * 4 The Drifters * 4
Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where ...

Aretha Franklin
* 4 The Jimi Hendrix Experience * 4 Robert Johnson * 4 The Kinks * 4 Bob Marley * 4 The Miracles * 4
Prince A prince is a male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary, in some European states. The femi ...
* 4 Muddy Waters * 4 The Who * 4
U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin, formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). I ...

U2


25th anniversary concert

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame celebrated its 25th anniversary with a concert series over two days on October 29 and 30, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The celebration included performances by
Jerry Lee Lewis Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American singer and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He has been described as "rock n' roll's first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the twentieth century. ...
,
U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin, formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). I ...

U2
, Patti Smith,
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he received critical acclaim for his ea ...
& the E Street Band, Simon & Garfunkel, Dion DiMucci, Metallica, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Fergie (singer), Fergie, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, Ray Davies, Ozzy Osbourne, Paul Simon, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy,
Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where ...

Aretha Franklin
, Stevie Wonder, Sting (musician), Sting, Little Anthony & the Imperials, and Crosby, Stills and Nash. The first night ran almost six hours with
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he received critical acclaim for his ea ...
& the E Street Band closing the concert with special guests
John Fogerty John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Together with Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and his brother Tom Fogerty, he founded the band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), for which he was the lead singer ...

John Fogerty
, Darlene Love, Tom Morello,
Sam Moore Samuel David Moore (born October 12, 1935) is an American vocalist who was a member of the soul and R&B group Sam & Dave from 1961 to 1981. He is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame (for "Soul Man"), and the Vocal G ...
, Jackson Browne, Peter Wolf, and
Billy Joel William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first major hit and signature song of the same name as well as the similarly named 1973 album, he has le ...
.


Inductees

Artists are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at an annual induction ceremony. Over the years, the majority of the ceremonies have been held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. However, on January 12, 1993, the ceremony was held in Los Angeles and was held there again in 2013. On May 6, 1997, about a year and a half after the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the ceremony was held in Cleveland. It returned to Cleveland in 2009 and again in 2012. Current plans call for the ceremony to be in Cleveland every three years. Generally, the number of inductees ranges from about a half-dozen to a dozen. Virtually all living inductees have attended the ceremonies, and they are presented with their Hall of Fame award by an artist who was influenced by that inductee's music. Both the presenter and the inductee speak at the ceremonies, which also include numerous musical performances, by both the inductees and the presenters. , there were 338 inductees. The first group of inductees, inducted on January 23, 1986, included
Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known simply as Elvis, was an American singer, musician and actor. He is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century and is often referred to ...

Elvis Presley
, James Brown,
Little Richard Richard Wayne Penniman (December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020), known as Little Richard, was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was an influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades. Nicknamed "The Innovator, The Ori ...

Little Richard
, Fats Domino, Ray Charles,
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Nicknamed the "Father of Rock and Roll", Berry refined and developed rhythm an ...

Chuck Berry
, Sam Cooke, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, and
Jerry Lee Lewis Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American singer and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He has been described as "rock n' roll's first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the twentieth century. ...
. Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers (country singer), Jimmie Rodgers, and Jimmy Yancey were inducted as Early Influences, John Hammond (producer), John Hammond received the Lifetime Achievement Award and
Alan Freed Albert James "Alan" Freed (December 15, 1921 – January 20, 1965) was an American disc jockey. He also produced and promoted large traveling concerts with various acts, helping to spread the importance of rock and roll music throughout Nort ...
and
Sam Phillips Samuel Cornelius Phillips (January 5, 1923 – July 30, 2003) was an American record producer. He was the founder of Sun Records and Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, where he produced recordings by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ca ...
were inducted as Non-Performers.


Performers

A nominating committee composed of rock and roll historians selects names for the "Performers" category (singers, vocal groups, bands, and instrumentalists of all kinds), which are then voted on by roughly 500 experts across the world. Those selected to vote include academics, journalists, producers, and others with music industry experience. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists' contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll. Block approval voting is used, with those nominees who receive the most votes being inducted, subject to a minimum of 50% approval. Around five to seven performers are inducted each year. In 2012, six additional groups, the Miracles, the Famous Flames, the Comets, the Blue Caps, the Midnighters, and the Crickets, were inducted as performers by a special committee due to the controversial exclusions when their lead singer was inducted. "There was a lot of discussion about this," said Terry Stewart, a member of the nominating committee. "There had always been conversations about why the groups weren't included when the lead singers were inducted. Very honestly, nobody could really answer that question – it was so long ago ... We decided we'd sit down as an organization and look at that. This is the result."


Early Influences

Early Influences includes artists from earlier eras, primarily country music, country,
folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media ...
, jazz, and
blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, fiel ...
, whose music inspired and influenced rock and roll artists. Other notable artists that have been inducted as Early Influences include Bill Kenny (singer), Bill Kenny & The Ink Spots, country musicians Jimmie Rodgers (country singer), Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams, blues musicians Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, and jazz musicians Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong. After Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday in 2000, no one was inducted in this category until 2009, when rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson was selected. Unlike earlier inductees in this category, Jackson's career almost entirely took place after the traditional 1955 start of the "rock era".


Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement

Formerly the "Non-Performers" award, this category encompasses those who primarily work behind the scenes in the music industry, including record label executives, songwriters, record producers, disc jockeys, tour promoter, concert promoters and Journalism, music journalists. This category has had at least one inductee every year except 2007 and 2009. Following the death of the Hall of Fame's co-founder
Ahmet Ertegun Ahmet Ertegun (, Turkish spelling: Ahmet Ertegün (); – December 14, 2006) was a Turkish-American businessman, songwriter and philanthropist. Ertegun was the co-founder and president of Atlantic Records. He discovered and championed many lead ...
, this award was renamed in his honor in 2008.


Award for Musical Excellence

Formerly the "Sidemen" award, this category was introduced in 2000 and honors veteran session musician, session and concert players who are selected by a committee composed primarily of producers. The category was dormant from 2004 through 2007 and re-activated in 2008. This honor was renamed the "Award for Musical Excellence" in 2010. According to Joel Peresman, the president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, "This award gives us flexibility to dive into some things and recognize some people who might not ordinarily get recognized."


Library and archives

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Library and Archives is the world's most comprehensive repository of materials related to the history of rock and roll. The Library and Archives is located in a new building on the Metro Campus of Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland's Campus District. The Library and Archives' mission is to collect, preserve and provide access to these materials. The Library and Archives operates on two levels: people may come into the library and read books and magazines, listen to music and other recordings, and watch videos and films. More serious scholars, historians and journalists may also make an appointment for access to the archival collections under the supervision of the staff archivists. The library is composed of books, academic dissertations, and other references. It also includes popular magazines, scholarly journals and trade publications; commercial audio and video recordings, and research databases. The archival collections include music-business records from record executives, artist managers, labels, historic venues, recording studios, specialists in stage design and lighting, and long-running concert tours. The collections also contain important individual items, such as personal letters penned by
Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where ...

Aretha Franklin
and Madonna (entertainer), Madonna, handwritten working lyrics by
Jimi Hendrix James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most ...
and LL Cool J, papers from music journalists such as Sue Cassidy Clark, and rare concert recordings from CBGB in the 1970s.


Criticism

The most frequent criticism of the Hall of Fame is that the nomination process is controlled by a few individuals who are not themselves musicians, such as founders Jann Wenner and Suzan Evans, and writer Dave Marsh, reflecting their personal tastes rather than public opinion as a whole. A former member of the nominations board once commented that "At one point Suzan Evans lamented the choices being made because there weren't enough big names that would sell tickets to the dinner. That was quickly remedied by dropping one of the doo-wop groups being considered in favor of a 'name' artist ... I saw how certain pioneering artists of the '50s and early '60s were shunned because there needed to be more name power on the list, resulting in '70s superstars getting in before the people who made it possible for them. Some of those pioneers still aren't in today." Sister Rosetta Tharpe is often considered "The Godmother/Grandmother of Rock & Roll", but was not chosen for induction until 2017. Velvet Underground drummer Maureen Tucker has dismissed the Hall of Fame as the "Hall of Lame" despite the band being inducted a couple of years prior to the remark. There was also criticism of the opacity in the selection process. Janet Morrissey of ''The New York Times'' wrote:
With fame and money at stake, it's no surprise that a lot of backstage lobbying goes on. Why any particular act is chosen in any particular year is a mystery to performers as well as outsiders – and committee members say they want to keep it that way.
Jon Landau, the chairman of the nominating committee, confirms they prefer it that way. "We've done a good job of keeping the proceedings nontransparent. It all dies in the room." According to Fox News, petitions with tens of thousands of signatures were also being ignored, and some groups that were signed with certain labels or companies or were affiliated with various committee members have even been put up for nomination with no discussion at all. The committee has also been accused of largely ignoring certain genres. According to author Brett Milano in 2007, "entire genres get passed over, particularly progressive rock, '60s Top 40, New Orleans funk and a whole lot of African-American music, black music." Another criticism is that too many artists are inducted. In fifteen years, 97 different artists were inducted. A minimum of 50% of the vote is needed to be inducted, although the final percentages are not announced and a certain number of inductees (five in 2011) is set before the ballots are shipped. The committee usually nominates a small number of artists (12 in 2010) from an increasing number of different genres. Several voters, including Joel Selvin, himself a former member of the nominating committee, did not submit their ballots in 2007 because they did not feel that any of the candidates were truly worthy. Members of the British punk rock band The Sex Pistols, inducted in 2006, refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum "a piss stain" and "urine in wine." In BBC Radio 6 Music's Annual John Peel Lecture in 2013, the singer Charlotte Church accused the museum of gender bias, stating, "Out of 295 acts and artists in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, 259 are entirely male, meaning that Tina Weymouth's part in Talking Heads makes them one of the 36 female acts." In fact, the actual percentage of woman inductees is 8.5%. Combining all the categories, there have been 719 inductees, of which 61 have been women. 2016 inductee Steve Miller (musician), Steve Miller directed a litany of complaints at the hall, both during his induction speech and, especially, in interviews after it. His criticisms included his opinions that there is a general lack of female inductees, that there is not enough support by the hall for music education, and that inductees are treated poorly at the award ceremony. In 2018, Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden criticized the Hall of Fame by calling it "an utter and complete load of bollocks ... run by a bunch of sanctimonious bloody Americans who wouldn’t know rock 'n' roll if it hit them in the face." Dickinson has also expressed an overall distaste for the Hall of Fame entity, arguing that "if you put [music] in a museum, then it's dead." Iron Maiden had been eligible for induction since 2004. Hard rock and heavy metal website Blabbermouth.net observed how it had taken Kiss (band), Kiss 15 years to be inducted and Deep Purple 23 years. Regarding his band's non-induction into the Hall, Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill stated in a 2019 interview, "I don't think they like heavy metal music in general." In 2018, when British rock band Dire Straits were inducted, Grammy award winner and bandleader Mark Knopfler did not attend the ceremony and offered no official explanation. Several people criticized the 2020 inductions because Dave Matthews Band were not part of the class despite them topping the fan vote.


Dave Clark Five

On March 14, 2007, two days after that year's induction ceremony, Roger Friedman of Fox News published an article claiming that the Dave Clark Five should have been the fifth inductee, as they had more votes than inductee Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The article went on to say that Jann Wenner availed himself of a technicality on the day votes were due in. In reality, The Dave Clark Five got six more votes than Grandmaster Flash. But he felt "we couldn't go another year without a rap act." The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation responded "There is a format and rules and procedure. There is a specific time when the votes have to be in, and then they are counted. The bands with the top five votes got in." The Dave Clark Five was subsequently nominated again and then inducted the following year.


The Monkees

In June 2007, Monkee Peter Tork complained to the ''New York Post'' that Wenner had blackballed the Monkees, commenting: In a Facebook post, fellow Monkee Michael Nesmith stated that he did not know if the Monkees belonged in the Hall of Fame because he could only see the impact of the Monkees from the inside, and went on to say: "I can see the HOF (Hall of Fame) is a private enterprise. It seems to operate as a business, and the inductees are there by some action of the owners of the Enterprise. The inductees appear to be chosen at the owner's pleasure. This seems proper to me. It is their business in any case. It does not seem to me that the HOF carries a public mandate, nor should it be compelled to conform to one." Various magazines and news outlets, such as ''Time (magazine), Time'', NPR radio, ''The Christian Science Monitor'', ''Goldmine (magazine), Goldmine'' magazine, Yahoo Music and MSNBC have argued that the Monkees belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


See also

* List of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees * List of music museums


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1983 establishments in Ohio Downtown Cleveland Halls of fame in Ohio I. M. Pei buildings Museums in Cleveland Music halls of fame Music museums in Ohio Music of Cleveland Organizations established in 1983 Rock music museums Sirius XM Radio channels