March 17, 2023 | 8:00 pm
Courtney Love attends the Fendi Couture Haute Couture Spring Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 26.
Courtney Love denounces the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for “sexist gatekeepers” while protesting the dearth of female and black performers highlighted by the Cleveland-based organization.
“If so few women are admitted to Rock Hall, then the nomination committee is broken,” Love wrote in a scathing opinion piece published in The Guardian on Friday.
“When so few black performers, so few women of color, are inducted, the voting process needs to be overhauled. Music is a life force that is constantly evolving – and they can’t keep up.
The scathing essay by the 58-year-old “Miss Narcissist” singer lists industry pioneers and visionaries such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Chaka Khan and Kate Bush as women who have been overlooked for years by the Nominating Committee and Voting Body of the rock hall.
Love noted that, for example, Bush received her fourth HOF nomination last month despite being eligible in 2004.
“That year, Prince was inducted — deservedly so, in his first year of eligibility — along with Jackson Browne, ZZ Top, Traffic, Bob Seger, the Dells, and George Harrison,” Love wrote.
“Rock Hall co-founder and then president, Jann Wenner (also the co-founder of Rolling Stone) was himself inducted. But Bush didn’t get on the ballot until 2018 — and she’s still out.
The Post has reached out to representatives of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for comment.
The Rock Hall was founded in 1983. Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording. Nominated ballots are sent to an international voting organization of more than 1,000 artists, historians and members of the music industry.
Thanks to Netflix’s Stranger Things, Bush’s 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” was given a second lease of life and extended its influence to a new generation of fans.
“Never mind that she was the first woman in pop history to write every song on a multimillion-selling debut,” added Love to Bush and her 1978 album “The Kick Inside.”
“It took the Rock Hall over 30 years to introduce Nina Simone and Carole King,” she continued. “Linda Ronstadt debuted in 1969 and became the first woman to headline stadiums, but she was inducted along with Nirvana in 2014.”
She added, “Most blatantly, three decades after she passed the grade, Tina Turner was inducted as a solo artist along with her abuser, Ike.”
Love – the former lead singer of Hole and the widow of the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain – also claimed only 8.48% of Rock Hall inductees and only nine of the 31 board members are women.
“Why are women so marginalized by the Rock Hall? …” she asked. “The canonization of the Rock Hall smacks not only of sexist gatekeepers, but also of deliberate ignorance and hostility.”
“Induction affects artist ticket prices, their performance guarantees, the quality of their re-release campaigns (if they are re-released at all),” Love reasoned. “These opportunities are life-changing — the difference between itinerant secondary market casinos opening up to a second-rate comedian, or headlining respected festivals.”
Love also argued that the 2023 nominations, revealed in early February, “offered the annual reminder of how extraordinary a woman must be to get into the old boys’ club” as more women than ever competed in this year’s nominating class.
Bush, Cyndi Lauper, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, Meg White of the White Stripes, and Gillian Gilbert of New Order are potential inductees.
“If the Rock Hall is not willing to look at the ways they replicate the violence of structural racism and sexism faced by artists in the music industry, if it cannot properly honor what visionary female artists have created, innovated, revolutionized and contributed to popular music — well, then let it go to hell in a handbag,” Love concluded.
She shared the article on Instagram on Friday, tagging The Guardian and claiming: “@guardian censored my line ‘RUN THROUGH A BOARD MADE OF THE MOST MALEVOLENT MUSIC, A VIRTUAL BLACK HOLE OF THE HELISH.'”
She continued, “I’ve never used the word ‘marginalized’ for 51 percent of the world’s population (censored by a woman! Is this why people use substack?),” she asked the popular blogging platform.
The Post has reached out to representatives from Love and The Guardian for comment.