Courtney Love is slamming the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for “sexist gatekeeping” while protesting the lack of female and black artists highlighted by the Cleveland-based organization.
“If so few women are being inducted into the Rock Hall, then the nominating committee is broken,” Love wrote in a scathing op-ed published Friday in The Guardian.
“If so few Black artists, so few women of color, are being inducted, then the voting process needs to be overhauled. Music is a lifeforce that is constantly evolving — and they can’t keep up.”
The 58-year-old “Miss Narcissist” singer’s damning essay lists industry pioneers and visionaries like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Chaka Khan, and Kate Bush as women who have been overlooked for years by the Rock Hall’s nominating board and voting body.
Love noted that Bush, for example, received her fourth HOF nomination last month, despite being eligible in 2004.
“That year, Prince was inducted — deservedly, in his first year of eligibility — along with Jackson Browne, ZZ Top, Traffic, Bob Seger, the Dells, and George Harrison,” Love wrote.
“The Rock Hall’s co-founder and then-chairman Jann Wenner (also the co-founder of Rolling Stone) was inducted himself. But Bush didn’t make it on the ballot until 2018 — and still she is not in.”
The Post has contacted reps for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for comment.
The Rock Hall formed in 1983. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording. Nominee ballots are sent to an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, historians, and members of the music industry.
Thanks to Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Bush’s 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” got a second life and expanded her influence to a new generation of fans.
“Never mind that she was the first woman in pop history to have written every track on a million-selling debut,” Love added of Bush and her 1978 album “The Kick Inside.”
“It took the Rock Hall 30-plus years to induct Nina Simone and Carole King,” she continued. “Linda Ronstadt released her debut in 1969 and became the first woman to headline stadiums, yet she was inducted alongside Nirvana in 2014.”
She added: “Most egregiously, Tina Turner was inducted as a solo artist three decades after making the grade alongside her abuser, Ike.”
Love — the former lead vocalist for Hole and the widow of the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain — also claimed only 8.48% of the Rock Hall’s inductees and just nine of its board’s 31 members are women.
“Why are women so marginalized by the Rock Hall? …” she asked. “The Rock Hall’s canon-making doesn’t just reek of sexist gatekeeping, but also purposeful ignorance and hostility.”
“Induction affects artists’ ticket prices, their performance guarantees, the quality of their reissue campaigns (if they get reissued at all),” Love reasoned. “These opportunities are life-changing — the difference between touring secondary-market casinos opening for a second-rate comedian, or headlining respected festivals.”
Love also argued the 2023 nominations, revealed in early February, “offered the annual reminder of just how extraordinary a woman must be to make it into the ol’ boys club” as more women than ever were included in this year’s nomination class.
Bush, Cyndi Lauper, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, Meg White of the White Stripes, and Gillian Gilbert of New Order are potential inductees.
“If the Rock Hall is not willing to look at the ways it is replicating the violence of structural racism and sexism that artists face in the music industry, if it cannot properly honor what visionary women artists have created, innovated, revolutionized and contributed to popular music — well, then let it go to hell in a handbag,” Love concluded.
She shared the article to Instagram on Friday, tagging The Guardian and claiming: “@guardian censored my line ‘RUN BY A GOVERNING BOARD MADE UP OF MUSIC’S MOST MALEVOLENT, A VIRTUAL BLACK HOLE OF THE HELLISH.’”
She continued: “I never used the word ‘marginalized’ applied to 51 percent of the worlds population (censored by a woman! Is this why people use substack?),” she asked of the popular blogging platform.
The Post has contacted reps for Love and The Guardian for comment.
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