Music

12 Reasons Cher Belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Under the stellar leadership of John Sykes, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has broadened its definition of what constitutes rock and roll to include, well, pretty much anything that has a young, contemporary, rule-breaking attitude and spirit.

Which makes us wonder why Cher has never even nominated for the Rock Hall. She has always had a young attitude, even today, at age 77. Telling the Rock Hall to “you-know-what themselves” as she did last week on national TV, is a pretty rock and roll thing to do.

Appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Friday Dec. 15, Cher said “And I’m not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!.” After the studio audience let out a collective groan, Cher told them it was okay with her. “You know what, I wouldn’t be in it now if they gave me a million dollars. I’m not kidding you. I’m never going to change my mind. They can just you-know-what themselves,” Cher said to applause.

Who can really blame her for feeling that way after so many years of being bypassed? Sonny and Cher, as a duo, and Cher solo, have been eligible for the Rock Hall since 1990 – which was 25 years after their breakthrough hits, “I Got You Babe” and “All I Really Want to Do,” respectively.

Some of the female artists who Cher paved the way for, with her irreverence and artistic boldness, are already in the Hall – most notably Madonna. When Madonna was still in grade school, Cher became adept at turning controversy to her advantage. As Sonny Bono once said “She liked to do things for the shock they created. She still does. She’ll create some controversy and then tell her critics to stick it.” Sound familiar?

It’s a safe bet that the Rock Hall will embrace Miley Cyrus soon after she becomes eligible in 2031. Like Cher, Cyrus has had an unorthodox career, with some missteps and head-scratching moves, but also flashes of brilliance.

Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour and accompanying film, with its focus on fashion and style, shows Cher’s influence. Lady Gaga’s entire career owes a debt to Cher.

The Rock Hall’s expansion of its definition of rock and roll was essential if the Hall was to avoid becoming a museum recognizing a niche genre; the sound of a previous generation. But it has made it far harder to get a sense of who qualifies as rock and roll and who doesn’t. If ABBA, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton are in, what’s the rationale for leaving Cher out?

Cher is still active. She released her first Christmas album on Oct. 20. It features duets with Cyndi Lauper, Michael Bublé, Tyga and Rock Hall members Stevie Wonder and Darlene Love. And as her blast at the Rock Hall shows, Cher still knows how to speak her mind and attract attention.

Here are 12 reasons Cher belongs in the Rock Hall.

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