Jann Wenner’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is over in 20 minutes | Albiseyler

Jann Wenner's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is over in 20 minutes

“You know, just for public relations,” he added, “maybe I should have gone and found one black artist and one female artist to put on here that didn’t meet the same historical standard, just to prevent that kind of criticism. . . . Which, I get it. I should have opportunity to do it. Maybe I’m old fashioned and I don’t give a (expletive) or whatever.”

The comments immediately drew fire on social media. Just as quickly, disturbing phone calls and emails began circulating among the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s 31-member board, which includes music and media executives, financial players and star performers including Pharrell Williams and LL Cool J. Created in 1983, the foundation selects the artists featured and is affiliated with the Cleveland Museum.)

“Your words risk undermining the very institution you helped build by promoting a narrative that is not only narrow but exclusionary,” Troy Carter, a former Spotify executive and adviser to the Prince estate, told Wenner in an onboarding email. members obtained by The Times.

Interviews with four people with direct knowledge of the board’s vote, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the panel’s proceedings are confidential, paint a picture of urgency and anger inside the institution.

While board members felt personally appalled by Wenner’s comments, they were also concerned about the impact on the hall itself and its vital relationships with artists — some of whom had already begun to complain. One letter came from Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s longtime songwriting partner, who is scheduled to accept the award for musical excellence at this year’s ceremony on Nov. 3 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Heather Taupin, his wife and manager, sent an email to hall officials calling Wenner’s comments a “slap in the face” for the appointee, adding, “We feel very strongly that he should resign immediately.”

Although the hall oversees the voting that selects the winners, there is often a delicate diplomacy behind the scenes that ensures artists accept the honor and appear on its annual induction telecast. This year’s honorees include Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Rage Against the Machine, the Spinners and George Michael, who died in 2016.

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