11 women who should already be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Dolly Parton Performs at Agua Caliente Casino on January 24, 2014 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images) (Valerie Macon, 2014 Getty Images)

While the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is known for celebrating excellence in music history, it’s not known for celebrating musicians of a certain category: Women.

You might be thinking that we’re exaggerating, but just look at the numbers and you’ll see what we mean.

Recommended Videos

First of all, the sheer number of male acts that are inducted compared to women is massive.

Out of ALL the acts inducted, NPR found that just less than 8% of the inductees are women.

To makes matters worse, there are 22 men who have been inducted twice into the Hall of Fame, and in 2019, the very first woman, Stevie Nicks, was inducted twice -- first for being a member of Fleetwood Mac, and then again for her solo career.

And the world isn’t lacking women who should be inducted twice; or inducted at all.

In fact, 2022′s nomination list does have many women, including many on this list. Those include Dionne Warwick, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, Carly Simon, Dolly Parton and Kate Bush.

While that’s great, it just goes to show the audacity that the Rock Hall still has. Warwick and Parton have been in the game for decades, yet Eminem is up for a nomination the first year he’s eligible. It’s not that Eminem doesn’t deserve the recognition, but some of these women should have been inducted decades ago.

Last week, Parton shocked the music world when she announced she would decline to be considered for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, simply stating that, “I didn’t feel that I have earned that right.”

Parton thinks that she’s not “rock” enough to be inducted, but the Hall of Fame disagrees. They posted a lengthy statement on social media, noting that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t belong to one genre, but it’s more about a sound that inspires youth culture.

They ended their statement saying, “We are in awe of Dolly’s brilliant talent and pioneering spirit, and are proud to have nominated her.”

To be considered eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, an artist must have his or her debut album out in the world for 25 years.

So, with that being said, here is a list of women who should have already been inducted -- and some of them twice.

1. Diana Ross

Debut album: “Diana Ross” (1970)

Already inducted: Yes

Diana Ross is another case of a women being inducted in a band already, but she deserves another nomination for her solo career.

Ross’s influence goes on for generation to generation, and she has reinvented herself as a solo artist, time and time again. What Ross did with The Supremes is obviously iconic and legendary, but some of her solo songs, like “I’m Coming Out” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” are arguably more famous than any of her Supreme songs.

2. Dolly Parton

Debut album: “Hello, I’m Dolly” (1967)

Already inducted: No

It’s honestly a travesty that Dolly Parton isn’t in the Rock Hall yet. Granted, women in country music are barely represented in the Rock Hall, but there is only one Dolly! How can this be?

There are so many reasons why Parton should be in the Rock Hall already, but the fact that she helped fund vaccines to help end the COVID-19 pandemic should put her at the front of the line for next year.

3. Pat Benatar

Debut album: “In The Heat of Night” (1979)

Already inducted: No

There are probably some who would argue that some of the women on this list aren’t “rock and roll,” but you cannot deny Pat Benatar.

Nobody rocked the ‘80s like Benatar did, and since some of her contemporaries like Stevie Nicks have been inducted, she is due next.

4. Annie Lennox

Debut album: “Diva” (1992)

Already inducted: No

Annie Lennox is someone who should have easily been inducted twice. The fact that Eurythmics aren’t in the Rock Hall already is insane. Their influence goes far and wide -- and “Sweet Dreams” is the best song ever, right?

Lennox has also had an incredible solo career, and her voice is one of the most recognizable and powerful voices in history.

5. Carpenters

Debut album: “Ticket to Ride” (1969)

Already inducted: No

Speaking of recognizable voices in music history, can we give it up to Karen Carpenter?

So sweet, angelic and ethereal, she went on to inspire countless singers after her. The brother-sister duo made some of the best music of the ‘70s, but it would be wonderful to see Carpenter honored for her contribution to music, especially since she’s been gone for so long.

6. Mariah Carey

Debut album: “Mariah Carey” (1990)

Already inducted: No

This might be a controversial pick since so many people have such strong feelings about Mariah Carey, but we have to look at the stats. She has 19 No. 1 singles, the most of any solo artist, and has spent a record 84 weeks at the top of the Billboard 100 chart. The numbers, her voice and her songwriting speak for themselves. And honestly, if the Rock Hall is going to induct Madonna (an honor she most certainly deserves) or Whitney Houston (again, totally deserved), Carey should be next. Let the queen of Christmas into the Hall of Fame!

7. The B-52′s

Debut album: “The B-52′s” (1979)

Already inducted: No

It’s a shame that the world’s No. 1 party band isn’t in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The B-52′s sounded like no other band with their debut album, featuring the always-cool hit “Rock Lobster.” The band has both men and women, but Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson deserve their due. With hits like “Love Shack,” “Rome” and “Private Idaho,” these new-wave pioneers should be inducted soon.

8. Cher

Debut album: “All I Really Want to Do” (1965)

Already inducted: No

Cher has a Kennedy Center Honor (as does Dolly Parton), so, isn’t she in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yet?

Not only should Cher be in as a solo artist, but it’s crazy that she’s not with Sonny Bono as Sonny and Cher, too. Cher should be in twice and there should be no further discussion.

9. The Runaways

Debut album: “The Runaways” (1976)

Already inducted: Yes and no

Runaways guitarist Joan Jett was inducted a few years ago, so if the Runaways were inducted, she would have the honor of being in twice. But beyond that, the Runaways were an all-female band that played their own instruments before that was ever a thing.

10. Cyndi Lauper

Debut album: 1983

Already inducted: No

Look, if Madonna is in the Rock Hall of Fame, so should Cyndi Lauper. She came up around the same time that Madonna did, and they both became global pop stars. Beyond having hits like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Time After Time,” Lauper has won Grammys, Emmys and even Tony Awards. She wrote the music for the hit Broadway musical “Kinky Boots.” It’s about time she be inducted.

11. Carly Simon

Debut album: 1971

Already inducted: No

Carly Simon basically invented writing break-up songs about ex-boyfriends, a tradition that has no become a mainstay in pop music. By the time her third album came out, fans knew to look out for who could be behind Simon’s lyrics, and her biggest hit, “You’re So Vain,” still has fans speculating who the song could be without. Basically, there would be no Taylor Swift if it wasn’t for Carly Simon. Induct her, already!

This list could honestly go on and on, so here are some more women acts that deserve to be in the Rock Hall already, because it’s about time this becomes just a little bit more equal:

  • Barbara Streisand
  • Grace Jones
  • Kate Bush
  • Bjork
  • Hole
  • Salt-N-Pepa
  • Sleater-Kinney
  • Tori Amos
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Alanis Morisette
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Chaka Khan
  • TLC
  • Selena
  • Dionne Warwick

... And so many more. Please make this happen, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

This story was first published in 2021. It has since been updated.

About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.

Recommended Videos