Can one million Bon Jovi fans possibly be wrong?
The formerly huge-haired New Jersey group leads the 2018 class of inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the organization announced on Wednesday, an accomplishment that may have at one time been thought impossible. Long a commercial juggernaut, if scoffed at by music snobs, Bon Jovi also won the Rock Hall’s fan poll, receiving more than a million public votes, which counts as a single vote in the overall judging.
Asked about its inclusion, Jon Bon Jovi, the band’s lead singer, stammered a bit. “Well. I mean … we’re very happy about it,” he said in an interview. “And um, you know. It’s great.” He paused. “I really want to say it’s about time,” he added, using a colorful adjective omitted here.
The band will be inducted along with Nina Simone, the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who will receive an Award for Early Influence, at the 33rd induction ceremony on April 14 at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland; the show will be broadcast later by HBO and SiriusXM.
More than 1,000 industry figures, including artists and historians, cast ballots for induction. The Rock Hall takes into account “an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique,” according to the criteria. Artists become eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after the release of their first recording.
“Am I relieved? Yeah,” said Mr. Bon Jovi, whose group has been eligible since 2008. “Am I pleased? Absolutely. But,” he repeated, “It’s about time,” using the same colorful adjective.
Starting with its self-titled debut in 1984, Bon Jovi has released 13 studio albums, including “This House Is Not for Sale,” which topped the Billboard chart last year. The group’s hits like “Runaway,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “It’s My Life” have led to more than 100 million records sold (hence the 2004 box set titled “100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong”).