Feb 26, 2024 - Music

Let's rank the 2024 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Ozzy Osbourne posses for a photo with his hands out.

The Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

It's time to put my reputation (and email inbox) on the line when it comes to this year's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ballot.

Catch up quick: The 15 nominees were announced Feb. 10.

  • A voting pool of more than 1,000 music historians, journalists and previous inductees will select the class of 2024, which will be announced in late April and inducted during a ceremony in Cleveland this fall.

I ranked the nominees from most to least deserving based on their resumes and influence:

1. Mariah Carey

  • Arguably the greatest vocalist of all time whose 19 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 are second only to The Beatles.

2. Cher

  • An iconic entertainer whose career has stretched over 60 years, inspiring the work of everyone from Madonna and Cyndi Lauper to Celine Dion and Lady Gaga.

3. Ozzy Osbourne

  • Took the art of rock showmanship to new heights post-Black Sabbath and one of the greatest voices in heavy metal history.

4. Mary J. Blige

  • Created a formula of classic soul mixed with hip-hop that became a blueprint for future superstars like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Usher.

5. Eric B. & Rakim

  • Transformed hip-hop into a lyrical art form in the late 1980s, inspiring recent inductees like Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Eminem and Tupac Shakur.

6. Peter Frampton

  • A revered guitarist who made his mark with The Herd and Humble Pie before embarking on a successful solo career that includes one of the greatest live albums of all time.

7. Kool & the Gang

  • Put together a lengthy career of funk, soul and disco hits that influenced a wide range of artists, including hall of famers Chaka Khan, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lionel Richie.

8. Sade

  • Perfected a smooth, jazz-fueled style of R&B that served as a blueprint for progressive and neo-soul acts like D'Angelo, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill.

9. Jane's Addiction

  • Highly innovative band with a limited catalog that paved the way for alternative rock and metal.

10. Oasis

  • Their huge, yet short-lived run as part of the 1990s Brit-pop movement brought guitar-driven pop back into the mainstream.

11. Sinead O'Connor

  • Combined an amazing voice and powerful message that artists like Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple and Liz Phair rode into the 1990s.

12. A Tribe Called Quest

  • One of the most artistic hip-hop acts of all time, but maybe should take a backseat to more impactful groups like De La Soul, Outkast and Wu-Tang Clan.

13. Lenny Kravitz

  • Carried the torch for rock music at a time when it appeared to be dying, but far from the most influential artist on this list.

14. Dave Matthews Band

  • An accomplished band with a devoted fan base, but whose music wasn't as groundbreaking as other acts from the same era — Soundgarden, Beck, Smashing Pumpkins — that should be on the ballot instead.

15. Foreigner

  • Had a string of hits over two decades that were fun but didn't impact the course of music history in any substantial way.

Go deeper: See who Troy thinks will be inducted


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