Courtney Love slams Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for less diversity, says it 'reeks of sexist gatekeeping'
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Courtney Love, 58, recently accused the Cleveland-based organization, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of “sexist gatekeeping” as “barely 8% of its inductees are female."
The ‘Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love' author wrote in an opinion column recently questioning, “Why are women so marginalized by the Rock Hall?” Talking about the overall marginalization of both female as well colored singers, 'Nirvana' frontman Kurt Cobain's ex-wife used statistics to prove her point as she says, “Of the 31 people on the nominating board, just nine are women."
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Love, who made her debut through her alternative rock band ‘Hole’ with the album ‘Pretty On the Inside’ in 1991, went on to publish two more albums with the band before it became non-functional. The two albums were ‘Live Through This’ (1994) and ‘Celebrity Skin’ (1998). She also released her solo album ‘America’s Sweetheart’ in 2004 before reviving the band and releasing the revamped band’s album ‘Nobody’s Daughter’ in 2010.
Love used the fiery opinion piece, published in The Guardian to vent out about the discrimination she feels is rampant in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As the nomination list was rolled out in February, it made the veteran singer feel frustrated enough to note, it is “the annual reminder of just how extraordinary a woman must be to make it into the ol’ boys club."
This year’s list features more women than ever who were nominated in Hall’s 40-year history. The list includes, “Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper, Missy Elliott; two women in era-defining bands: Meg White of the White Stripes and Gillian Gilbert of New Order; and a woman who subverted the boys club: Sheryl Crow."
“The Rock Hall’s canon-making doesn’t just reek of sexist gatekeeping, but also purposeful ignorance and hostility,” lashes out the ‘Skinny Little Bitch’ hitmaker.
The artists wronged by the organization
Talking about Sister Rosetta who was inducted in 2018 following a public shaming of the Cleveland-based organization, she said, “When the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame started in 1983, you would have thought they might want to begin with Sister Rosetta, with those first chords that chimed the songbook we were now all singing from."
She also made a case for Mama Thornton, as she said, “Big Mama Thornton, whose recording of Ball’n’Chain also shaped this new form of music? Still not in.”
Talking about how Chaka Khan is not given her due despite being eligible since 2003 and receiving seven nominations, she wrote, “What makes Khan’s always-a-bridesmaid status especially tragic is that she was, is and always will be a primogenitor. A singular figure, she has been the Queen of Funk since she was barely out of her teens. As Rickie Lee Jones said: “There was Aretha and then there was Chaka. You heard them sing and knew no one has ever done that before.”” Talking about the double marginalization Khan faced, both as a female and a Black musician, Love vocalizes distinctly, “Yet Khan changed music; when she was on stage in her feathered kit, taking Tell Me Something Good to all the places it goes, she opened up a libidinal new world. Sensuality, Blackness: she was so very free. It was godlike. And nothing was ever the same,” before adding, “But for all her exceptional talent and accomplishments – and if there is one thing women in music must be, it is endlessly exceptional – Khan has not convinced the Rock Hall."
While she informed her readers that following Meg White’s potential induction, she would just be the third female drummer to be inducted, Love also questioned, “Where is Sheila E – eligible since 2001?”
Questioning the scarcity of Black representation in the Hall of Fame, she said, “It doesn’t look good for Black artists, either – the Beastie Boys were inducted in 2012 ahead of most of the Black hip-hop artists they learned to rhyme from."
The ‘Trapped’ actress also added, “A Tribe Called Quest, eligible since 2010 and whose music forged a new frontier for hip-hop, were nominated last year and again this year, a roll of the dice against the white rockers they are forced to compete with on the ballots."
“If so few women are being inducted into the Rock Hall, then the nominating committee is broken. If so few Black artists, so few women of color, are being inducted, then the voting process needs to be overhauled. Music is a lifeforce that is constantly evolving – and they can’t keep up,” the quinquagenarian songstress vented out.
'Yet the top highest paid musicians are all women'
Following Courtney Love's excoriation, social media users are divided in their opinion. "This is good to hear. Perhaps she could also call out how “rock” artists are defined given the pop, disco and country artists who are in there," commented one user sarcastically. "Yet the top highest paid musicians are all women…," mused another. Another Twitter user criticized, "This really feels like a cry for attention. As if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has ever had gender be stopping a musician from getting in." "Maybe they should've worried about putting the best musicians in there and not just putting people in there to fill a diversity gap," remarked another.
This is good to hear. Perhaps she could also call out how “rock” artists are defined given the pop, disco and country artists who are in there.— Forest 🌳 Walker (@Fun_Forest_Guy) March 17, 2023
Yet the top highest paid musicians are all women…— CJ Hazard (@cjhazard) March 17, 2023
This really feels like a cry for attention. As if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has ever had gender be stopping a musician from getting in.— Garan 🇺🇦 (@Garan01089446) March 17, 2023
Maybe they should've worried about putting the best musicians in there and not just putting people in there to fill a diversity gap.— Julie (@MayorOfSnark) March 17, 2023
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