Why Isn't Janet Jackson in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Why Isn't Janet Jackson in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Press photo

By Brittny Pierre

So what if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a bunch o' hooey? People still care about its inductees, and it's perhaps the highest achievement a musician can have on his resume.

Or her resume. Of course, the Hall is very light on women, not to mention women of color.

But there's always a chance to get it right when it comes to Janet Jackson, whose career as a trend-setter and hitmaker should speak for itself.

Here's the shocking thing: Despite being eligible since 2007, she has never even been nominated. Never mind that her brother Michael is in there. (Twice, in fact, including once with the Jackson Five.) Janet has been a force to be reckoned with in her own right, for decades.

She has sold more than 25 million albums, making her, by the RIAA's count, the eleventh best-selling female artist in history. She had seven songs make Billboard's top five on a single album, the glorious 1989 work Rhythm Nation: 1814.

During the '80s and '90s, she set the standard when it came to smooth vocals and artful songs, videos and choreography. Artists like Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Usher have all borrowed from her heavily.

Since her early masterwork, 1986's Control, she has shown an ability and willingness to incorporate serious issues into her oft-funky songs. She is a rare pop artist to use her platform to touch on topics including feminism, social injustice, same-sex relationships, AIDS awareness, homophobia and domestic violence.

So what's the deal? Why has she not gotten her due?

We suspect it all comes down to her "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2004 Super Bowl. Who knows what really happened, but all we know is that, for some reason, American society got all prudish for a minute. For some reason everyone long ago gave Timberlake a pass, but Jackson has never recovered.

It's ridiculous, as ridiculous as Janet never being nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The voters should right that wrong this time around. In fact, they should induct her. It would be long overdue.

If you want to join other fans campaigning for Janet's induction, visit the Induct Janet Jackson Facebook page (which has more than 20,000 likes).


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