By Taiwo Okanlawon
Late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti did not make it to the list of the 2021 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that was announced on Wednesday.
Fela’s name was missing in the list despite coming second in the fan vote category after Tina Turner, an American singer, widely referred to as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”.
The Afrobeat originator was nominated alongside 15 other artistes for possible induction into the coveted institution.
Inductees in the performers’ category include Jay-Z, Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go’s, Foo Fighters and Todd Rundgren, and LL Cool J.
Others inductees in the special categories include Clarence Ahmet (Ahmet Ertegum Awardee), Karftwerk, Charley Patton, Gil Scot-Herron (Early Influence), Billy Preston, and Randy Rhoads (Musical Excellence).
The induction ceremony is billed for October 30 in Cleveland, Ohio.
The organisers, however, explained in a statement on their website, that “the top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a ‘fans’ ballot’ that will be tallied along with the other ballots to select the 2021 Inductees.”
“Nominee ballots are sent to an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, historians, and members of the music industry.
“Factors such as 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 are taken into consideration,” the explainer said.
This means that making the top five in the fan vote category does not automatically qualify a nominee for induction.
Reacting to the development, Femi Kuti, the late singer’s son, faulted the lack of adequate enlightenment on the part of the organisers on how inductees are selected.
“Apparently there’s another vote only members can take part in, and that’s what counts. So they kind of wasted our precious time, the positive side #Fela was trending and many who never heard of him got to hear his music and his story,” he wrote on Twitter.
Apparently there’s another vote only members can take part in, and that’s what counts. So they kind of wasted our precious time, the positive side #Fela was trending and many who never heard of him got to hear his music and his story . https://t.co/xhUqFTeZiO
— Femi Anikulapo-Kuti (@Femiakuti) May 12, 2021
The Notorious B.I.G; and Whitney Houston, US gospel singer, were among those inducted in 2020.
More social media reactions;
This is bullshit! With all the massive campaigns and votes for Fela, you still don’t count him worthy to make the list? You must think Nigerians are a joke to you! Don’t come to the Mainland! https://t.co/FZhVNG8yXy
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) May 12, 2021
So all the votes for Fela didn’t count? Eti ya werey. https://t.co/mUwQEMsLKJ
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) May 12, 2021
I regret wasting my precious time voting and campaigning for votes for Fela in this Hall of Fame bullsh-t. How can you exclude the second person with the highest votes but include the third and fourth??
— Duke of Ibadan 🀄️ (@_AsiwajuLerry) May 12, 2021
No disrespect but this is rubbish. It must have taken a lot of effort to ignore Fela here. Absolute nonsense! 🤮🤮🤮 https://t.co/qWZkRH1mf0
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) May 12, 2021
Fela Kuti was 2nd place based on fan votes. However, the ppl who didn’t come close to him were selected to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Despite this there was a clause that essentially meant the fan vote didn’t matter. They never planned on letting Fela win. pic.twitter.com/u3UGIQGnXv
— Raro Lae (@TheRaroLae) May 12, 2021
#RockHall2021 Fela came 2nd on the final day of Voting,the Go-Go’s 3rd,Foo Fighters 5th. 3rd& 5th were inducted, leaving out 2nd. @rockhall, care to explain why you made us vote massively for Fela when you knew induction wasn’t going to be be based on the final poll results?! pic.twitter.com/YIZMJneHMZ
— WizkidtheGreatest 🐐 (@WizkidtheLegend) May 12, 2021
This Is BS !!!!
All the efforts we put together to Vote for Fela they still didn’t induct him ? pic.twitter.com/n3vUmiVkXX
— Roviel 😏 (@ObongRoviel) May 12, 2021
Fela pulled more votes than Jay Z, how come Jay Z is here and Fela isn’t ?? Hmmmm. https://t.co/MERDJmaQqJ
— OTUNBA (@ManLikeIcey) May 12, 2021
After many of us voted, they didn't include Fela as one of the Legends. pic.twitter.com/3pDFBqsEna
— Tunde Ednut (@TundeEddnut) May 12, 2021
So Fela Anikulapo-Kuti didn't make the list of #RockHall2021 inductees, with all our campaigns and votes?. I think fans vote is just formality, because Fela was the first runner up behind Tina Turner, and those in 3rd, 4th and 5th place made the list.
— UNCLE AJ (@UNCLE_AJALA) May 12, 2021