Courtney Love is ready for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to start recognizing women and people of color. The “Doll Parts” singer wrote a scathing op-ed on the subject for The Guardian on March 17. In her essay, she noted that women make up barely eight percent of the inductees, while the statistics for people of color are roughly the same. POPSUGAR reached out to reps for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for comment on Love’s remarks, but did not receive an immediate response.
“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 wrote.
Throughout the essay, Love notes the numerous times iconic female singers like Kate Bush, who reached new heights of fame in 2022 thanks to her song’s inclusion in “Stranger Things,” and Chaka Khan have been overlooked by voters. The reason why they’ve been continually passed over seems obvious to the 58-year-old: the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame remains a boys club.
“Why are women so marginalized by the Rock Hall? Of the 31 people on the nominating board, just nine are women,” she noted.
This year’s group of nominees include a record number of women. Among them are Bush, Missy Elliott, Cyndi Lauper, Sheryl Crow, and Meg White of The White Stripes. But as Love noted, some of these women, like Bush, have been waiting for their turn for years.
While it would be easy to dismiss the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as irrelevant, Love writes that it remains a moneymaker for inductees, as well as a guarantee that their work won’t fade into obscurity. “You can write the Rock Hall off as a ‘boomer tomb’ and argue that it is building a totem to its own irrelevance,” she added. “Why should we care who is in and who is not? But as scornful as its inductions have been, the Rock Hall is a bulwark against erasure, which every female artist faces whether they long for the honour or want to spit on it. It is still game recognizing game, history made and marked.”
Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde shared her thoughts on the Rock Hall on Twitter, which Love retweeted. “I don’t even want to be associated with it,” she wrote in part, before adding that it “has absolutely nothing to do with rock and roll.”
The Hole frontwoman added, “ARTISTS! Beef off the table. Principals b4 personalities! @chrissiehynde (blew my world into a rainbow 🌈 in 79 #GOAT ♥️) TBC. I would not accept, don’t need! @rockhall. BRO it isn’t 4 me I speak. THAT BOARD NEEDS A HOSE DOWN so women & poc can FEED THEIR KIDS. Not just Bon Jovi.”