The 2019 inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced Thursday morning, honoring artists across genres and generations. Groundbreaking pop icon Janet Jackson earned her nod, as did bewitching Fleetwood Mac frontwoman Stevie Nicks. Alt-rockers the Cure were named alongside fellow ’80s stadium fillers Def Leppard. Radiohead are this year’s youngest inductees — they first became eligible for the class of 2018, 25 years after their debut — and ’60s British invasion legends the Zombies are the senior members, having released their debut in 1964. Roxy Music, the Bryan Ferry-led outfit famed for their fusing of art rock and glam, rounds out this year’s list of honorees.
Jackson, 52, helped define music in the ’80s and ’90s with anthemic R&B infused tracks — 27 reaching the Billboard Top 10 — and bold artistic statements like Control and Rhythm Nation 1814 helped her sell more than 160 million records worldwide over the course of her career. Her fashion set trends, her dance moves blew minds, and her trailblazing music videos helped a cement a nascent MTV’s status as a media giant. (They repaid the favor by giving her the Video Vanguard Award at the 1990 VMAs.)
“We did it u guys,” she posted in a joyous tweet on Thursday morning. “Thank U for all your love and support.”
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Nicks, 70, who has already been inducted as a member of Fleetwood Mac in 1998, would make history as the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Though she issued an album with then-boyfriend (and future Fleetwood Mac guitarist) Lindsey Buckingham in 1973, her first proper solo disc came in 1981 with Bella Donna. From there she scored numerous hits independent of Mac, including “Edge of Seventeen,” “Stand Back,” and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Tom Petty.
“I have a lot to say about this~ but I will save those words for later,” Nicks shared on Twitter after learning of the honor. “For now I will just say, I have been in a band since 1968. To be recognized for my solo work makes me take a deep breath and smile. It’s a glorious feeling.”
Fronted by the great Robert Smith — role model for a generation of “goth” high school students — the Cure were one of the most beloved bands of the ’80s, topping the charts with songs like “Just Like Heaven,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “In Between Days” that blended post punk and psychedelic haze and Smith’s eerie poetry.
The Zombies have long been a favorite, consistently scoring high votes in the fan-led nomination process. Beloved for their moody, jazz-tinged smashes like “Time of the Season,” “She’s Not There,” and “Tell Her No,” the band have received a late career renaissance in recent years after their 1968 album Odessey and Oracle was rediscovered and hailed as a pop masterpiece by some of the biggest names in music.
“This time to turn the corner and get inducted, feels fantastic,” keyboardist and composer Rod Argent said in a statement. “I’m just so delighted.” Lead singer Colin Blunstone was similarly enthusiastic, calling the news “a career-defining [and] life-defining moment.”
Radiohead fans were furious last year after the band failed to be inducted, but guitarist Ed O’Brien previous revealed his bemusement concerning all things Rock Hall. “It’s in our DNA to be a little ambivalent with award ceremonies,” he explained in an interview with Esquire. “We haven’t had great experiences. I would never want to disrespect anything because obviously some amazing artists have been nominated. But if I’m honest I don’t understand it. It’s just kind of a British person going, ‘Okay, thanks, what does this mean?’”
The winner of the fan-led Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voting, Def Leppard rocked the ’80s with larger than life metal classics, including the indomitable “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Animal” and “Hysteria,” plus other headbangers. “First of all, a massive thanks to all our fans & past inductees who voted for us,” frontman Joe Elliott said in a statement. “Congratulations to all our fellow inductees, we stand alongside some amazing artists, past & present. What an absolute honor.”
Bryan Ferry also expressed his thanks on social media. “We are delighted to accept this prestigious award on behalf of everyone who has been involved in the world of Roxy Music – musicians, engineers, producers, designers and numerous people behind the scenes… and of course our loyal fans,” he wrote.
The 34th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will take place on Friday, March 29, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.