Metro Weekly

Cher to be Inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Cher has been named a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, while the gender-nonconforming Big Mama Thornton will be posthumously honored.

Cher – Photo:

Cher is among a group of musicians named as inductees to he Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Grammy Award-winning artist was one of four artists — along with Foreigner, Peter Frampton, and Kool & the Gang — who were on the ballot for the first time. 

Cher — the only artist to have a No. 1 song in each of the past six decades — and fellow inductee Mary J. Blige, a nine-time Grammy Award winner with eight multi-platinum albums — will boost the Hall of Fame’s number of females, which previously stood at 65, constituting about 8% of the total number of inductees.

Other inductees include A Tribe Called Quest, the Dave Matthews Band, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Artists must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years before being eligible for induction.

Big Mama Thornton – Photo: Fair Use

Alex Korner, John Mayall, and Big Mama Thornton, a Black, gender-nonconforming blues musician who wore men’s apparel and has been credited for her “queer” influence on mid-20th-century music (although she never came out as LGBTQ) were honored the Musical Influence Award.

Thornton’s best-known song, the 1952 song “Hound Dog,” gained widespread fame after it was covered by Elvis Presley four years later.

However, Thornton saw no royalties from the song because she did not own the copyright.

The late Jimmy Buffet, MC5, Dionne Warwick, and Norman Whitfield were named as recipients of the Musical Excellence Award.

Music executive Suzanne de Passe was named the recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which honors non-performing music industry professionals who have had a major influence on the creative development and growth of rock-and-roll music that has impacted youth culture.

This year’s nominees were voted on by more than 1,000 artists, historians, and music industry professionals.

Fans voted online or in person at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame museum, with the top five vote-getters comprising a “fans ballot,” which was tallied with the other professional ballots.

“Rock ‘n’ roll is an ever-evolving amalgam of sounds that impacts culture and moves generations,” John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said in a statement. “This diverse group of inductees each broke down musical barriers and influenced countless artists that followed in their footsteps.”

The induction ceremony will be held at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio, on Oct. 19. The ceremony will stream live on Disney+ and will be made available for online viewing on Hulu the next day. It will airing on ABC on a later date yet to be determined.

While Cher is being honored for her solo work, her original musical act, Sonny & Cher, which was founded with former husband, the late U.S. Rep. Sonny Bono (R-Calif.), was never inducted.

The LGBTQ ally described the snub of Sonny & Cher as “kind of rude.”

Cher said, at the time, “We influenced a generation, and it’s like: what more do you want?”

After Sonny & Cher disbanded, Cher reinvented her image and enjoyed success as a solo artist.

Her No. 1 hits include “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “Half-Breed,” “Dark Lady,” and “Believe,” as well as “Song for the Lonely,” “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” and “Woman’s World,” all of which topped the U.S. Dance Club charts in successive decades.

At age 77, she continues to release music, including a Christmas album that dropped in late 2023, with the single “DJ Play a Christmas Song” topping the U.S. Adult Contemporary charts.

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