Rock & Roll Hall of Fame CEO defends Iron Maiden omission: “They are an impactful, influential band”

The CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame has responded to criticism after Iron Maiden failed to secure their inclusion in this year’s list of inductees.

It was revealed last week (May 12) that Foo Fighters, Jay-Z and Tina Turner have all featured in the 2021 inductees, alongside the likes of The Go-Gos and Carole King.

However, both Rage Against The Machine and Iron Maiden – who were confirmed to be in the Rock Hall’s Class Of 2021 in February – were not included in the final list, prompting fresh criticism around the ceremony’s lack of heavy metal acts.

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Speaking to the WBAB radio station, per Blabbermouth, Hall CEO Greg Harris said: “There’s no doubt that Iron Maiden are an impactful, influential band, and that’s why they were nominated this year, along with 15 other artists and acts, and when the votes came in, these six were the leaders. So we’re not questioning, are they an important band, are they impactful and influential.

“Of those that have been nominated throughout history, over 80 percent of them have been eventually inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame,” he added.

“So everybody has their favourites; everybody has different artists that impacted them or impacted other artists. So, if you look at this list, you can make that case for all of these folks, just like people make that case for Iron Maiden.”

When asked about critics who have suggested that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should be labelled the Music Hall Of Fame, Harris said: “I think to get to the core of it, people like the stuff that’s closest to them, and I think they need to expand their thinking of rock and roll. It’s a big tent.

“Rock and roll was never just four skinny guys with long hair and guitars; it’s always been diverse… We take that interpretation that these are all variants of rock and roll. And I think, underneath it, it frequently gets to the hip-hop question because some people are not fans.

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“Well, the fact of the matter is that ship has sailed. We’ve inducted quite a few artists in that canon. It’s a big tent and everybody fits under it. It’s an attitude, it’s a spirit, and that’s rock and roll.”

Paul Stanley – whose band KISS were inducted into the Rock Hall in 2014, having first been eligible back in 1999 – previously said on social media that Iron Maiden’s failure to secure enough votes was “INSANITY”.

“Regardless of who is writing in or not, the Committee must induct them,” he wrote. “They have helped spawn an entire genre of music. What else do you need to do??”

He was backed by bandmate Gene Simmons, who described the omission as “disgusting”.