Who no know go know: Two decades after his death, Fela Kuti receives a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nomination

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Fela Kuti (1938-1997) performs at Vredenburg in Utrecht, Netherlands on 3rd November 1988. (photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
Fela Kuti (1938-1997) performs at Vredenburg in Utrecht, Netherlands on 3rd November 1988. (photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a museum documenting the history of pop music. 
  • Performers become eligible 25 years after their first commercial release.
  • Nominated alongside Fela Kuti is Jay Z, Tina Turner, Mary J. Blige and LL Cool J. 


Rapper Jay-Z, 1980s pop group The Go-Gos and rock band Foo Fighters were among first-time nominees announced on Wednesday for possible induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Others on the ballot for the first time include singer-songwriter Carole King and singer-actress Dionne Warwick, heavy metal group Iron Maiden, and the late Nigerian singer Fela Kuti.

The 16 contenders also included previous nominees Tina Turner, Mary J. Blige, Devo, LL Cool J and Todd Rundgren. Performers become eligible 25 years after their first commercial release.

King was nominated for her work as a performer. She was previously inducted as a songwriter with Gerry Coffin.

Turner’s nomination was for her solo work. She had been honored for duo Ike and Tina Turner.

Inductees will be selected based on ballots sent by the Cleveland-based Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to more than 1,000 artists, historians and members of the music industry.

The general public also can weigh in online or at the Rock Hall. The top five vote-getters will be submitted as a single fan ballot among the hundreds of other ballots.

Those selected will be announced in May and inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Cleveland in the fall. In previous years, between five and seven acts have typically won a place in the Hall.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Richard Chang

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