Nine Inch Nails + How Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Fan Voting Means Next to Nothing
One again, the official list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees has been announced. As always, the upcoming class of acts spawned both positive and negative reactions from the public, but looking deeper into the induction process, music fans may have additional reasons to feel ripped off.
In 2015, Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Bill Withers and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band will become the Hall's newest inductees. Additionally, Ringo Starr will be given the Award for Musical Excellence, while R&B pioneers The "5" Royales will be presented with the Early Influence Award.
As you may remember, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame asked fans worldwide to submit their own input for the 2015 class from a ballot of 15 bands. A staggering amount of votes (roughly 59 million) were cast. Stevie Ray Vaughn led the final fan ballot, but Nine Inch Nails claimed a strong second place with over 13 million votes cast in favor of induction.
Nine Inch Nails not being included in the 2015 class of inductees may seem surprising considering fan voting, but unfortunately, the public vote means next to nothing.
In the Rock Hall's Induction Process description, it's revealed that "an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry" vote on the acts nominated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.
Since 2012, the Rock Hall has placed a huge emphasis on the fan voting process, but ultimately, the public's top five picks only receive a single vote for induction out of more than 600 ballots. As it states in the official description, "The Top Five Nominees as voted by the fans count for one ballot entry, which is weighted the same as individual ballot entries submitted by members of the international voting body."
That's right -- in the case of Nine Inch Nails, over 13 million fan votes carried the same weight as a single vote from one of the members of the Rock Hall's panel. Additionally, only the five acts with the largest amount of votes receive that solitary fan vote, so the 1.5 million votes cast for the eighth-place Green Day didn't even play into the band's successful bid for a 2015 induction.
Nine Inch Nails and the band's 13.1 million votes was the only Top 5 fan-voted act not to make the cut this year, while Joan Jett (No. 3 at 8.9 million votes), Bill Withers (No. 4 at 3.8 million votes), the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (No. 5 at 3.7 million votes), Lou Reed (No. 6 at 3.1 million votes) and Green Day (No. 8 at 1.5 million votes) will all receive their trophies come 2015.
Ultimately, the collective votes cast by yourselves (and us) affect roughly 1/600th of the process, if anything at all. So next year, when the process starts again for 2016, be aware that your opinion can only been seen through a microscope.
Screen Capture of Final Fan Voting for 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class
See the Yearbook Photos of Trent Reznor and Other Rockers