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Who Should Induct Jimmy Buffett Into The Rock Hall?

Who should induct Jimmy Buffett when he is honored posthumously by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at the induction ceremony this October? Buffett, of course, [inlink id="jimmy-buffett-dies-at-76" text="died last year at age 76"]. On Sunday, April 21, nearly everyone was surprised to see that Jimmy Buffett is being honored by the Rock Hall. We're not saying that he doesn't deserve it. However, somehow, he's never been on the ballot. Buffett -- alongside punk rock legends the MC5, legendary singer Dionne Warwick and songwriter Norman Whitfield -- is being honored in the Musical Excellence category. That category tends to be for artists who have been on the ballot and have not been voted in, but the nominating committee wants to honor them. Previous honorees include Judas Priest, LL Cool J, and Nile Rodgers of Chic. But while the MC5 and Dionne Warwick have been on the ballot in the past, Buffett has never even been nominated. Hence, the surprised reaction from many. In some ways, it's easy to see how he's been overlooked. Buffett has kind of existed in his own universe, but he's beloved by the more mellow side of classic rock. Over the past few decades, he's become a massive influence on country music as well. On the other hand, Buffett was certainly part of the Rolling Stone scene in the '70s, along with Jackson Browne, the Eagles and Bonnie Raitt, all of whom have been Hall of Famers for years. Buffett was even featured on the cover. Rolling Stone's current and former staff used to guide the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for the institution's first few decades; it's surprising that his name has never made the ballot. [caption id="attachment_762401" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Courtesy of the Rock Hall[/caption] Jimmy Buffett: More Than a Singer-Songwriter Jimmy Buffett has one of the strongest "brands" in rock music, but that's a sort of taboo thing to say in rock and roll (unless you're KISS). His empire includes the theme restaurant Margaritaville Cafe, Margaritaville Foods, Landshark Lager, Margaritaville Tequila & Spirits, Margaritaville Footwear and more. Of course, we're not talking about the branding hall of fame. But Buffett got his unique standing in American culture because of his incredible catalog. Some of his songs are just fun, timeless party jams, like "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and "Fins." "Margaritaville," of course, fits in that category, too. But that song is a bit deeper if you listen to the lyrics. He wrote some truly lovely ballads: "Come Monday," "Son of a Son of a Sailor," and "A Pirate Looks at Forty." His final album, 2023's Equal Strain On All Parts, had one of his best songs, and a lovely sendoff: "Bubbles Up." The Rock Hall seems to like it when you can make a case for an artist's influence on current pop culture. Not sure how to make the case for Carole King? No problem: Taylor Swift will show up and make a speech. Mission accomplished. Does the Steve Miller Band translate to younger audiences? You don't have to explain it: leave that to the Black Keys. (Although the Rock Hall may have miscalculated on the latter example; it didn't turn out well.) In the case of Jimmy Buffett, though, there are tons of great choices. The 2024 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction will be live on Saturday, October 19 at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. It will stream live on Disney+ with an edited special airing on ABC at a later date, and the special will be available on Hulu the next day. So: Who Should Induct Jimmy Buffett at the 2024 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony?

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