Out of the vast amount of performers in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only a fraction of them are women. Since the beginning, there has been outcry from both fans and musicians that the committee needs to diversity. Here are just ten women out of the countless many who have made more than their fair share of contributions to the world through music.
1. Pat Benatar
It’s a resounding shock to many when they find out that rock icon Pat Benatar has yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Benatar shook up the rock world by being a powerhouse singer-songwriter that demanded as much attention as her male peers. She was the first woman to ever play on MTV, back when MTV was about music, and it’s nearly impossible to talk about the history of rock without mentioning her.
If you think that the rock renaissance of the 90s consisted of only men think again. Hole was founded in Los Angeles by Courtney Love, yes Kurt Cobain’s wife, and guitarist Eric Erlandson. Produced by the iconic Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth their debut album proved this band was beyond iconic. They have songs that appeal to both a mainstream audience such as “Malibu” but also songs with a powerful message like “Asking For It”. Their sophomore album was named one of the best albums of all time which is why it’s strange that a band with such an influential album has yet to be inducted.
3. The Go-Go’s
This all-female rock group of the 1980s gave the decade some of the biggest hits but has yet to be honored like fellow rock groups such as Def Leppard. To date, they are the most successful rock group consisting of all women that write and perform their own music. Lead singer Belinda Carlisle has called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snub “sexist” and considering how iconic this group is she’s probably right.
4. Whitney Houston
There are few artists who are or ever will be as iconic as Whitney Houston. A shining star taken too soon, there has been yearly uproar surrounding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s decision to ignore her. For the longest time strictly pop stars like her or Mariah Carey have been ignored, the foundation wanting to maintain the integrity of the “rock” genre. Although with recent inductee Janet Jackson we can only hope that Houston will finally get her due respect.
There are barely any female artists let alone artists who sing in another language in general, which is why Selena may seem like a complicated choice but hear me out. Fellow Mexican American singer Ritchie Valens was inducted in 2001 for his contribution to the musical world, which was a direct influence to Selena. She was and still is arguably the most successful crossover artist of all time. Despite having died 24-years-ago her music still resonates and continues to inspire Latin pop artists and artists in general today. Remember, anything for Selena.
6. Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan is an artist who has been nominated not once, not twice, but three times and still hasn’t been inducted. She has a force in the 1970s in the funk movement and her voice has earned 10 Grammys and has sold billions of records worldwide.
Technically Björk has been making music since she was a young girl, but her official debut album was inaptly titled “Debut” in 1993. Meaning she is three years overdue for being inducted. Although her music may not be the most friendly to a mainstream audience she is iconic within her own right.
8. Cyndi Lauper
Again another 1980s artist who many are surprised have yet to be inducted. Although she has been recognized for her songwriting skills Lauper deserves to have her actual singing career recognized by the foundation.
9. Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette’s album “Jagged Little Pill” has become a significant contribution to not just the rock genre but music in general. Several modern day songwriters have cited her, and that particular album, as an influence. Her music is so iconic that “Jagged Little Pill” is actually being adapted into a musical.
10. Kate Bush
Even though she isn’t American she has enough credentials under her belt to prove she is more than worthy. She is the first woman to have eight albums be in the top 40 simultaneously on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart. Her single “Withering Heights” also made her the first U.K. female artist to have a number one hit. She is a woman who continues to break barriers and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be the next one.
Bonus: Tina Turner
Tina Turner was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 with her ex-husband Ike. The reason she is a bonus on this list is despite already being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one could argue that her solo work has eclipsed her work with Ike. She is a singer who deserves her own recognition as a strong solo artist.