Cher baffled by her exclusion from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Is she delusional, or does she have a point?

sonny-cherImage Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesMusic icon Cher addressed quite a few buzzy topics in her recent cover profile in Vanity Fair—subjects ranged from the demise of her relationship with former (and now deceased) husband Sonny Bono and her son Chaz’s sex change to working with pop star Christina Aguilera in the upcoming, to-be-released-on-Thanksgiving movie Burlesque. But one particular point Cher made in the piece stopped me in my tracks—the star thinks she and Sonny have been overlooked for inclusion in one of music’s most coveted groups: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Sonny and I still aren’t in the [Rock and Roll] Hall of Fame, and it just seems kind of rude,” Cher said. “Sonny was a good writer, and we started something that no one else was doing. We were weird hippies before there was a name for it, when the Beatles were wearing sweet little haircuts and round-collared suits…. We influenced a generation, and it’s like: What more do you want?”

It’s an interesting point, right? And honestly, one that I’ve never thought about too much when it comes to discussions around who is being snubbed from being nominated into the group. What do you think, Music Mixers? Does Cher have a point? Or have all those sequins over the years made her delusional on this subject? Were Sonny and Cher influential—and rock and roll—enough to warrant being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so sound off in the comments below.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix

More on Cher from EW’s The Music Mix:
Cher exclusive: The superstar discusses her upcoming album

Comments (99 total) Add your comment
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  • Elizabeth

    If Cher had been paying attention, she’d know that unless Jan Hammer and his buds at Rolling Stone deem it so, she’ll never get in. She can get in line with Kiss, Rush, and a host of others who are constantly looked over by the hall’s braintrust.

    • Channing

      Jan Hammer? The composer of the theme for ‘Miami Vice’? I think you mean Jann Wenner.

      • BlackIrish4094

        I don’t know which one she means but you do know that Jan Hammer had an established and well respected career as a jazz musician for more than a decade playing with the likes of Miles Davis before he ever penned the theme from Miami Vice.

      • Elizabeth

        Probably – should’ve just gone with “Legend in his own mind” and everyone would’ve known who I was getting at ;)

        Thanks for the correction. Appreciated!

  • Melissa

    Putting aside the fact that I don’t know how “rock and roll” Sonny and Cher were, one thing I noticed when I went to the Hall of Fame Museum is that it is extremely gender/race biased. A person with no knowledge of US music history would be led to believe that white rockers took black music, made it better and occasionally let some chicks sing.

    • TorontoTom

      And if you went to the Motown Museum in Detroit, you’d wonder if there were white people in America.

      • Dgently

        My God, Toronto. Hate much?

      • candacetx

        i guess you are one of THOSE PEOPLE who think the RnRHoF should only include ‘rock’ (translation: white people)… dispite the fact that most ALL of the legends inducted would say that they were influenced greatly by rhythm and blues. Sorry that we colored people are f-ing up your world. Our bad. :-(

      • Barry

        Very true!

      • Scotty J

        Motown is a record company not an entire genre or music.

      • @candacetx

        The Rock comment does not necessarily mean white only. I think the poster was saying Rock as opposed to Pop – which would also exclude a lot of white people.

    • Elizabeth

      Been there many times – have NEVER gotten that impression.

  • Jay

    While I admit that Cher’s career has been iconic and deserves recognition from some kind of Hall of Fame…. I dont think she is or ever was “Rock and Roll”.
    She has a point AND she’s delusional (if that makes any sense)

    • jasper

      and someone like Madonna (who i love btw) is? let’s face it…..the hall of fame is not very rock and roll to begin with

      • candacetx

        if Madonna qualifies… then Cher certainly does. I am on the fence about Sonny and Cher… but Cher definitely

    • Sarah

      The term “Rock and Roll” is much more loose nowadays.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Only to the Hall of fame, Madonna, Sonny and Cher, Abba none of those groups are rock n’ roll or belong in the hall. Just change the name to the pop music hall of fame and I would have no complaints. But rock n’ roll? I don’t think so.

      • candacetx

        BlackIrish.. I agree.
        Change the name to the Music Hall of Fame – lay this to rest. Music is fluid. It evolves, changes, matures, regresses, presses forward, nods to the past. There are country and classic artists that could/should be included as well as they transcend boundries. “Cain’t we all jes get along?” Sheesh…

    • Dave

      There are plenty or acts in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that aren’t rock and roll.

      • jthunders

        That doesn’t make it right. Cher in NO WAY should be in there. She’s obviously nuts. L.A.M.F

      • Dave

        Maybe it’s not right, but does it even matter anymore? There are so many non-rock acts in the Hall of Fame that adding more non-rock acts isn’t going to make it any more irrelevant than it already is. And it’s not like they are going to start removing those acts, so I don’t know why anyone even cares anymore.

    • JD

      I don’t think you’d count Aretha Franklin as Rock and Roll, but she’s there

      • candacetx


      • mo

        She always had me rockin n rollin when she fired up her pipes! Where is your R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

    • mo

      Pop music…maybe?

  • Danny

    At 64, she has yet to be inducted into the Kennedy Center as an honoree, which I think is overdue. She’s definitely worthy, as she has cemented a place for herself in the world of music, television, and film.

  • side3

    I like Sonny and Cher, still I think there are lot’s more deserving acts that should go in first…like The Moody Blues, Badfinger, Raspberries, Big Star, KISS (they held on way too long, but their 1970’s work was stellar), Alice Cooper….it is a long list really.

    • Sue1

      Good point. There are MANY other deserving acts who should be considered first.

    • jthunders

      The NEW YORK DOLLS deserve to be in before Kiss. L.A.M.F

    • Ixarix

      Alice Cooper is on the list for 2011 inductees.

  • bma

    Cher’s iconic in her own right, and — if nothing else — has a rock-and-roll attitude (and has slept with her share of rockers). But she’s a pop act who thrives on singles and radio airplay, and she hasn’t charted nearly as many times as someone like Madonna.

  • talkin’

    She has a point but dissing the Beatles is not good form.

    • Bryan

      She wasn’t dissin the Beatles, she was just pointing out the truth. If she wanted to she could said other artists suck, but she didn’t. She said she feels that she belongs to be in that group. And I think so. No one can tell me that Sonny was not a genius at writing music and he also created the Diva that is Cher who has carried a career through five decades.

      • jthunders

        Belongs in the same group as The Beatles? You, sir, are a moron. As far as her music, disposable pop garbage. Her biggest contribution to the world is horrendus Oscar dresses. Sonny a genius? For what, I GOT YOU BABE? Please. L.A.M.F

      • Tarc

        Yeah, and more people know and appreciate Sonny & Cher songs than most of the other bands that are supposedly waiting. If Madonna and Aretha are already in, then Cher certainly deserves it. I’d take Cher long, long before The Moody Blues, Badfinger, Raspberries (?), etc. None of those bands provided a long lasting impression or innovation to match Cher.

  • TorontoTom

    The MUSIC Hall of Fame in Cleveland should include her. If you go through the list of who’s in and who’s not, it has very little to do with rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a museum celebrating modern MUSIC

  • GHB

    The Moody Blues aren’t in? Hmmm… I think S&C probably do belong, def. more influential than The Raspberries.

    • Tarc

      Or maybe it’s that they were awful. Just awful. Ugh.

  • Derek

    If Madonna is in there, Cher should be too.

    Yeah, neither are “Rock & Roll” but if you think about it, neither was Michael Jackson (as much as I love him, he was the King of POP not King Of Rock & Roll), ABBA (Disco), Gladys Knight & the Pips (Motown), or Aretha Franklin (Soul, R&B). I think that it shouldn’t be “Rock & Roll” specific as much as it should be music in general. How did these artists influece music as a whole……stuff like that.

    • April C

      I agree, more like an “American Music Hall of Fame”.
      As a casual observer, it has always seemeed to me that inductees are part icon, part musician. Cher IS an icon, there is absolutely NO denying that. In my opinion, she eclipses Madonna. In her 45 YEAR career, she has had 4 #1’s plus many, many top ten hits, has won an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, a Cannes Film award, a People’s Choice and 3 Golden Globes…had one of the best selling singles of ALL TIME (Believe), plus she is the only female solo artist to reach the Billboard Top 10 in 4 different decades…
      All of this proves why SHE should definitely be inducted. Now, “Sonny & Cher”… not so much. I mean, really? I almost can’t believe she would even bring that up. Maybe it is her vieled way of pointing out that SHE should be inducted.

  • JRWolfe

    Cher has a VERY valid point,as do many many rock groups from Steppenwolf to Moody Blues and beyond. Jann Wenner and his committee have very confusing standards,which is why Abba and Grandmaster Flash are in ,and so many more worthy ones are not

  • Yes

    She’s right. Sonny and Cher definitely deserve to be there, or at the very least she does. She’s had a career that has spawned five decades and she continues to make noteworthy work. She’s 64 years old and has been in the business since she was a teenager. If Madonna can be inducted, I think it’s long past due for Cher (and Sonny) to get paid their due respect.

    • TONY

      Madonna had like 38 Top Ten hits…. Sonny and Cher had maybe two at most. There is hardly any comparison here.

      • candacetx

        Just because you (with all of your musical expertise) never heard of her songs, doesnt mean she never had more than 2 hits. Not to mention the woman has an Oscar, three Golden Globes, an Emmy, and a Grammy. Madonna is the spawn of Cher. Without Cher, she’s just another chick from Detroit. Each of the songs below were Top40, either solo or with Sonny Bono:

        The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)
        If I Could Turn Back Time (gold single)
        Heart Of Stone
        Love And Understanding
        Love Hurts
        Half Breed (gold single)
        Just Like Jesse James
        I Found Someone
        Dark Lady (gold single)
        One By One
        Strong Enough
        All Or Nothing
        Walking In Memphis
        Love Can Build A Bridge
        All I Really Want To Do
        Bang Bang
        Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves (gold single)
        The Beat Goes On
        I Got You Babe
        Take Me Home (gold single)
        After All (gold single)

      • CBenji

        Cher can sing, and Madonna can’t.

  • Ethel Merman

    I can’t get over the heights in the photo! Clearly, Sonny was on a box.

    • I have no idea

      How I know this, or why it matters, but they were actually about the same height….5′ 5″.

  • Dan

    The biggest problem with the HoF is that it sits in Cleveland.

    • Tarc

      It’s actually a beautiful building in a nice area. There’s nothing wrong with Cleveland. Now, if you want to see scary, come down to see the Motown museum in glorious downtown Detroit. Just don’t take a wrong turn.

    • LiLa

      Wrong! I was there earlier this year and had a wonderful time in Cleveland. Stayed downtown within walking distance of the Hall and most everything else. Food tip: try the ribs at the Cleveland Hard Rock – they’re the best!

  • jj

    Why would Cher want to be in, as their standards are so weird. ABBA is in?

    • candacetx


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