Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Opens Its Doors to Disco

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 11 2012 4:03 PM

Rock Hall of Fame Opens Its Doors to Disco

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Donna Summer in 2011

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A year ago, when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame declined to induct nominee Donna Summer, we complained that the strange institution was still keeping its doors closed to disco—even though many of its current residents (from the Four Seasons to the Clash) had tried their hands at the genre. So we should probably acknowledge that this year the Hall corrected its error, albeit just a few months too late for the great singer to enjoy the honor herself.

Another disco nominee, the band Chic, was not inducted, getting turned away along with fellow candidates Deep Purple, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, the Marvelettes, the Meters, N.W.A., Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Procol Harum.

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Those acts were passed over in favor of Rush—whose fans have been pushing for the recognition—as well as Heart, Randy Newman, and blues great Albert King. Public Enemy became just the fourth hip-hop act to enter the Hall, after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., and the Beastie Boys.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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