10 Artists Who Refused To Be In The Rock And Roll Music Hall Of Fame

Dolly Parton pardons herself and the Sex Pistols declare the institution an expensive piss stain...

Axl Rose
Ian West/PA Archive

In the world of sex, drugs and rock and roll, it doesn't get much bigger than being inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But for a handful of musicians, this accolade is nothing but a dead-end, mockery and an offence to their art.

Since its launch back in 1986, the institution has seen some fantastic moments, from supergroups performing hit tunes to the reunions of some of the greatest bands to have ever produced music. But for some bands and artists, this ceremony is their biggest nightmare, and on the odd occasion, they were very vocal about their opinions.

From some very public and messy rejections, such as the one from the Sex Pistols in 2006 to the very polite pardon by Dolly Parton in 2022, the Hall of Fame has seen its fair share of drama. To get to the top and be nominated to receive the award is truly something special. To be nominated, artists and bands have to have released their debut album a minimum of 25 years ago. The nominees go through a gruelling judgement by the committee and then a further inspection by more than 1000 people deemed "Rock Experts." Candidates with the highest number of votes win the award.

This exclusive club is the pinnacle of some musicians' careers, but it practically means the end of the world for these select few.

10. John Deacon

Axl Rose

Since retiring from Queen and the music industry in 1997, John Deacon has actively been trying to avoid public detection, and when the band was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001, he made no exception.

This left bandmates Roger Taylor (drummer) and Brian May (guitarist) to receive the award on behalf of the band. When asked later on, both band members spoke of how Deacon has retired from all forms of media interaction and is "a little fragile." As there has been no sign of the bassist, he is yet to confirm or deny his fragility.

This rejection of the Hall of Fame was purely for personal reasons and preferences. The artist has opted out of all award ceremonies involving the band since the death of the lead singer, Freddie Mercury. When asked about his absence and whether or not they still have contact, both remaining members of the band have said that they have very little contact with the musician unless it is to do with finances. Deacon continues to live a quiet life in South West London with his wife and six children but is still deemed a member of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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