Madonna voted into Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame on the first try
From an article by Jim Farber on the new York Daily News:
Madonna got fast-tracked into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame this year, making the cut for the class of 2008 on her very first try.
An artist must have released their first music twenty-five years earlier to be considered for entry. Madonna issued her first song, “Everybody,” in 1982.
She’s the highest profile star to make this year’s coveted list. The four others are Midwest rocker John Mellencamp, Canadian singer-songwriter and literary lion Leonard Cohen, British invasion pop stars The Dave Clark Five, and California surf rock instrumentalists The Ventures.
Also inducted this year will be Chicago bluesman Little Walter in the sideman category, and the architects of Philly soul, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
Those nominated this time that didn’t make the cut include Donna Summer, Chic, Afrika Bambaataa, and The Beastie Boys.
Like Madonna, The Beasties put out their first release in ‘82, a pre-rap, punk EP called “Polly Wog Stew.” Though they have far longer careers, Cohen and The Ventures had never been nominated before this year.
A small cabal of music industry types come up with the nominees. Then, some 600 music industry types vote on the final entrants.
The new inductees will be honored at a ceremony on March 10, 2008 held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, to air live on VH1. Presenters and performers will be announced at a later date.
The 2008 class spans a range of talent, from the supremely gifted to the less so. As cheery as the Dave Clarke Five may have been, they’re the least substantial of the artists gaining entry this time. It’s a long way down from Leonard Cohen who, by most critics’ measure, ranks as one of the three best lyricists of the last half century. (The others in that holy trinity would be Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, who each got into the Hall years ago).
Madonna’s quick entry may irk some who view her more as businesswoman, and self-generating p.r. machine, than musician. But no one giving a serious listen to her long list of hits could doubt their remarkable sonic innovation, and sheer hook appeal. If nothing else, it’s sure to generate a new round of controversy, mother’s milk to Madonna and a good way to generate extra chatter for the Hall as well.