The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially announced the 2018 class of inductees on Dec. 13. New Jersey native rockers Bon Jovi made the list, along with The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Nina Simone. Sister Rosetta Tharpe is honored as an Early Influence. The induction ceremony will take place in Cleveland at the Public Hall on April 14, 2018.
Bon Jovi joins the class after winning the 2018 fan vote. The iconic rockers racked up 1,162,146 votes to command their victory. Charismatic front man Jon Bon Jovi took to Twitter to say “Thank you. Thanks for inducting us into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Long time coming, but it’s finally here …”
In a career spanning more than three decades which includes releasing 13 studio albums and selling over 120 million records worldwide, Bon Jovi continues to crank out hit songs and connect with millions of fans at sold-out shows around the world. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009. The band has been on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot before, but failed to make the cut. Bon Jovi told Billboard he’s “humbled and pleased” with the 2018 induction announcement.
Bon Jovi also confirmed Richie Sambora and former bassist Alec John Such “are absolutely invited to play” at the induction ceremony, along with Phil X and Hugh McDonald. Bon Jovi, Sambora, Tico Torres, David Bryan and Such are reportedly all included to be inducted. Keyboardist David Bryan told Rolling Stone the induction is “a Christmas miracle.”
New wave icons The Cars were founded in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Ric Ocasek and singer-bassist Benjamin Orr. They produced 13 Top 10 singles across six studio albums, four of those being Top 10 albums. Signature hits from their self-titled 1978 debut album include “Good Times Roll,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Just What I Needed.” Their 1984 No. 3 album, Heartbeat City also spawned the smash hit drive. The band reunited after more than two decades to release Move Like This in 2011. Members inducted include Ocasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes, David Robinson and late member Orr.
English rockers Dire Straits emerged onto the music scene in the late ‘70s and gained widespread industry attention in 1980 when they earned two Grammy nods for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance for “Sultans of Swing.” Their landmar1985 album Brothers in Arms shot to the top of the charts in the U.S. and U.K. and went 9X platinum. It also won two Grammys for the hit single “Money For Nothing” for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical. Members to be inducted include Alan Clark, Guy Fletcher, John Illsley, David Knopfler, Mark Knopfler, and Pick Withers.
British native progressive rockers The Moody Blues are considered by many to be pioneers in the genre. Their career spans more than five decades. Their heavily-lauded 1967 concept album Days of Future Passed produced their massive, signature hit single “Nights in White Satin.” They revamped their sound as they transitioned into the ‘80s music scene and their 1986 album The Other Side of Life spawned a Billboard Adult Contemporary No. 1 hit with “Your Wildest Dreams.” Members inducted include Graeme Edge, Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Mike Pinder, and Ray Thomas.
The late, great blues-jazz legend Nina Simone is frequently credited with providing a soundtrack to the Civil Rights Movement. She recorded more than 40 albums in a career that stretched nearly five decades before her death in 2003. She’s often dubbed the “High Priestess of Soul” and is known for her civil rights anthems “Mississippi Goddam,” “Four Women” and more.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe started singing as a child and was known for her gospel folk recordings, which include her 1938 hit “Rock Me.” She was also an electric guitar master. She influenced scores of artists including Little Richard, who she invited on stage to perform with her when he was just 14. She died in 1973.
Some of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees who didn’t make this year’s class include Radiohead, Judas Priest, Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, Kate Bush and more.