Since the nominees were announced two weeks ago, fans have been voting online for their favorite Rock & Roll Hall of Fame contenders — and two artists in particular are blowing away the competition: Cyndi Lauper and George Michael.
In the fan vote, Cyndi has more than any of the other 13 nominees — more than 187,000 — while George is close behind with more than 185,000 votes. Of course, neither Cyndi nor George ever lacked fans. What they and other ’80s pop acts haven’t had is Rock Hall recognition — until recently, with the inductions of Pat Benatar, Lionel Richie, Eurythmics, Duran Duran and The Go-Gos.
“I think, particularly, we have seen … this reassessment of the ’80s,” says Jason Hanley, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s VP of education and visitor engagement. “And it’s not just a nostalgia for it. It’s really looking back and sort of doing a little bit of a creative overhaul of how we assess that music and say, ‘There was some great art made in that time period.'”
Hanley tells ABC Audio that even if you don’t like how slick the music of the ’80s was, Cyndi and George are two great examples of artists whose “lasting legacy is their songwriting.” He adds that songs like “True Colors” “have just stuck with people. [They] really reached out and said a lot of important things.”
He suggests a lot of the issues Cyndi and George referenced in their music, like LGBTQ rights and, in George’s case, coming out, “are things that are still relevant and important in our society now, and speak to large audiences around the world.”
Fan voting is open through April 28 at rockhall.com, with the top five vote-getters comprising a “fans’ ballot,” which will help determine this year’s inductees.
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