After more than a decade of irate rants and enthusiastic lobbying from fans, Rush is finally a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Canadian powerhouse trio will be inducted on April 18th along with Heart, singer-songwriter-pianist Randy Newman, rap group Public Enemy, the late disco queen Donna Summer and blues guitarist Albert King. Label executive and music impresario Lou Adler and producer-arranger-composer Quincy Jones are headed as Ahmet Ertegun Award -- aka non-performer -- honorees.
This year's class represents the first time fans have been allowed to participate in the selection process and it's little surprise that Rush is the big winner. More than any other act's fan base -- with the possible exception of KISS -- Rush fans have created online petitions, Facebook pages and websites to push for the band's induction. Generally speaking, the hall has overlooked bands from the prog-rock era, inducting only Genesis in 2010. This is the first ballot Rush has appeared on.
Heart, which appeared on the ballot for the first time last year, has had a particularly active year. Ann and Nancy Wilson published a joint biography,Kicking and Screaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll; released a new record, Fanatic; and maintained an active touring schedule that continues from January through March, in the U.S. and Canada.
Summer, who died in May, gets in on the sixth time her name appeared on the ballot. King, whose single-string, bent-note approach to the electric guitar was a significant influence on Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, is best known for Born Under a Bad Sign from 1967. Newman, whose debut was released in 1968, wrote uniquely caustic and insightful pop songs in the '60s and '70s before devoting most of his time to film work.
Nominees who did not make the cut this year include the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, the Meters and N.W.A.