Howard and Gary Dell’Abate Clash Over Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2021 Class of Inductees

Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, and the Go-Go’s are among the acts making this year’s cut

May 12, 2021
Photo: Getty Images

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s next batch of inductees was announced Wednesday morning, and it didn’t take long for Howard and his executive producer to disagree over which acts should’ve made the cut.

The new entrants are Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Belinda Carlisle’s Go-Go’s, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, and Tina Turner with Musical Excellence Awards going to hip-hop icon LL Cool J, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads, and renowned keyboardist Billy Preston. Kraftwerk, Charley Patton, and Gil Scott Heron will receive Early Influence Awards, meanwhile, and longtime music executive Clarence Avant will be honored with the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

“I believe I was pretty much on it,” Howard said Wednesday morning of his very first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot. He’d selected Foo Fighters, Tina Turner, Carole King, and the Go-Go’s as well as recent Stern Show guest Tom Morello’s band Rage Against the Machine, which didn’t score enough votes to get inducted.

As it turned out, Howard and Gary Dell’Abate—who gambled away his vote this year to colleague Jon Hein—disagreed over whether Rundgren was Hall of Fame-worthy. Gary believed Todd deserved to be inducted because of his lesser-known work as a music producer for Meatloaf and others, but Howard disagreed. “I go, ‘Gary, listen to me: I’m not doing homework before voting for the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. They ain’t paying me,’” he laughed.

The 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is set for Oct. 30, 2021 in Cleveland and will air at a later date on HBO.

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