Rocking their way to fame

Every year, rock legends are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of people like Elvis, The Beatles, Alice Cooper and Madonna. The 2015 ceremony will take place April 18 in the Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Photo by Arianna Endicott

Induction ceremonies began in 1986. The first ceremony honored legends like Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Buddy Holly. Since then, there have been a total of 29 ceremonies, and 304 total inductees have been brought into the hall of fame.

This year’s inductions include punk rock bands Green Day, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, rocker Lou Reed and former Beatles legend, Ringo Starr. Blues bands The 5 Royales, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band are also being honored, as well as soul/blues singer Bill Withers.

Green Day’s first EP, “1,000 Hours,” was released in 1989. They’ve released 10 more albums since then and won 31 awards. Joan Jett and The Blackhearts’ first album, titled “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” was released in 1981. It featured the popular single, which the album is named after. Lou Reed’s self-titled album was released in 1972, and it was the first of 22 studio albums. He was previously inducted as part of The Velvet Underground. In 1970, former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr released his first album, “Sentimental Journey.” He has released a total of 18 solo albums, winning three awards. He was previously inducted in 1988 when the Hall honored The Beatles.

“I’m glad Ringo is getting the recognition he deserves,” junior Anna Piwonski said. “He really was the star of The Beatles.”

The 5 Royales began their three album endeavor with “Dedicated to You” in 1957. Stevie Ray Vaughan released “Texas Flood” in 1983, the first of six albums. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band released their self titled first album in 1965, and it peaked at #123 on the Billboard pop albums chart. Bill Withers’ “Just As I Am” was released in 1971, which featured the songs “Let It Be” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which both won Grammys.

To be eligible for induction to the Hall of Fame, artists must have had at least one album out for 25 years. The leaders of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation selects nominees to be voted on for induction every year. Ballots are sent out to a number of people in the music industry. Fans around the world can also vote. The artists with the top five votes from fans at the end of the voting period are each given one vote to be added to the votes from members of the music industry.

“I like being able to vote because I feel like I’m a part of choosing who gets inducted,” junior Stephanie Sroka said.

Artists are voted in to the hall of fame based on their influence on other musicians and the future of rock and roll, and are granted one of three awards. The “Ahmet Ertegun Award” (called the Non Performer category until 2011) is given to writers, producers, record executives, disc jockeys and journalists who influence the development of rock and roll. The “Early Influences” category is for early artists who influenced rock and roll music and artists. This year, that group is The 5 Royales. The “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award for Musical Excellence,” the highest award, is given to musicians, writers and producers who create music and changed musical history. This award will be given to Starr this year, and it will be presented to him by fellow former Beatle Paul McCartney.

In addition, there will be appearances from artists like Fall Out Boy, Stevie Wonder, Patti Smith, Peter Wolf, John Mayer and Steve Cropper. The ceremony will feature performances by Grammy award winning singer Beck and Academy Award winner John Mayer. Other performers include Jimmie Vaughan, Tom Morello, Joe Walsh and Dave Grohl.

Tickets to the 2015 event range from $82.90 to $313.50 and are available on Ticketmaster or by phone by calling 800-745-3000. It will be broadcast on HBO May 30.

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