Fela Anikulapo-Kuti has lost out in the race to become an inductee of the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation today announced the new inductees of the 2021 class; Jay-Z, the Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, and Tina Turner.
Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s and Jay-Z were on the ballot for the first time this year.
Speaking of the new inductees, John Skyes, the Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said “this diverse class of talented Inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture. It will make for an unforgettable live celebration of music in October at this year’s Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.”
Also in 2021, LL Cool J, Billy Preston and Randy Rhoads will get musical excellence awards; Clarence Avant the Ahmet Ertegun award; and Kraftwerk, Gil Scott Heron and Charley Patton get early influence awards.
According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, to be eligible, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years prior to induction.
Ballots were sent to an international voting body of more than 1,200 artists, including current living Inductees, historians, and members of the music industry. Some of the factors considered were an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation, and superiority in style and technique.
Fela was first announced as a nominee for the award in February. And soon after the announcement, a massive campaign to solicit votes for the Nigerian legend began on social media with support from celebrities such as Burna Boy, Davido, Don Jazzy, Banky W amongst others. The campaign gave Fela an early lead.
A look at the result of the final fans’ ballot revealed that Fela came in second behind Tina Turner.
2021 Final fans’ ballot | Image: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Fela is remembered as an influential icon who was brave enough to boldly voice his opinions on matters that affected the nation through his music.
If Fela Kuti had won, he would have made history as the first Nigerian artist in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a museum and hall of fame located in Ohio, United States. The museum documents the history of rock music and the artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have influenced its development.