By Brian Ives
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced their 2015 inductee class last night and this year’s honorees are: Green Day, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Bill Withers, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the late Lou Reed. Ringo Starr will be given the Award For Musical Excellence, and 1950s R&B group the “5” Royales will receive the Early Influence Award.
Artists on the ballot who weren’t voted in include Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A., Sting, Chic and the Smiths.
With this induction, Reed becomes part of a select group that of musicians who has been inducted twice, along with Jimmy Page (the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin), Curtis Mayfield (the Impressions and solo), Michael Jackson (the Jackson 5 and solo) and Neil Young (Buffalo Springfield and solo) as well as former Beatles John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, all of whom have been inducted as solo artists.
Starr now joins his bandmates as a two-time inductee. However, John, Paul and George were all voted in; Starr was not on the ballot. The Award for Musical Excellence is decided on by a committee, and has gone to Leon Russell and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band in recent years.
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s induction marks the third year in a row that the band who won the Rock Hall’s fan poll (which counts as one ballot) was inducted: last year, KISS topped the fan poll, and the year before, it was Rush.