Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan
Withers has a lot of hits, but he was hardly at the top of the list of long-snubbed acts (such as Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, and Deep Purple), so a nod seems generous. Vaughan was only shocking because it seemed like he should have been a shoo-in years ago.
De La Soul, Cher
For the second year of eligibility in a row, De La Soul’s game-changing style was overlooked. The Hall also missed an opportunity to acknowledge Cher — whose impact and longevity far exceed those of many of the men enshrined in Cleveland — on the 50th anniversary of her first album. And if Joan Jett, nommed again this year, doesn’t make the final cut this time, voters have black hearts indeed.
Biggest Slam Dunks
Lou Reed, Green Day
Reed, already in as a member of the Velvet Underground, will get a deserved posthumous push, and Green Day have the perfect combination of influence, rabble-rousing, and sales power.