(CNN)—Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Kuti has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2021. The legendary Nigerian musician made this year’s list of nominees more than two decades after his passing. Fela was nominated alongside 15 other artists including rappers Jay-Z and LL Cool J. R&B stars Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan and Dionne Warwick. Greg Harris, President and CEO of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame unveiled the list of nominees Wednesday.
Also shortlisted were rock stars Rage Against the Machine and Foo Fighters, as well as veteran female singers Kate Bush, Carole King and Tina Turner in a gender inclusive list. The inductees will be announced in May after a public vote, which closes April 30. “We’ll announce our new Inductees in May,” Harris said. “They’ll be honored at the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony right here in Cleveland, Ohio this fall,” he added.
Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after premiering their first musical work. Fela was an outspoken critic of several military regimes in Nigeria and was often arrested for his troubles. Through his music and human rights activism, Fela campaigned against military rule and corruption in Nigeria. In 1977, for example, he released the album “Zombie,” which ridiculed the military government. In response, the military burned his home, beat him, and threw his mother out of a window. She died soon after from her injuries. Fela himself died in 1997 from complications from AIDS.
Main Photo: Fela Kuti, /Pan African Music