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Fela emerges second on 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan voting


Fela Kuti

Afrobeat pioneer, the Late Fela ‘Anikulapo’ Kuti, emerged second in this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan voting concluded late last night with more than 545,000 votes.

The polls accrued to Fela were some 40,000 votes behind those of  Tina Turner, who with 585,000 ballots, emerged victorious.

Fela, a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, composer, political activist, and Pan-Africanist died on 2 August 1997.

Born to an Anglican minister, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, and his n anti-colonial feminist mom, Funmilayo, Fela shot to stardom in Nigeria during the 1970s, during which he was an outspoken critic and target of Nigeria’s military juntas. He waxed social conscious songs like Zombie (1977); Shuffering and Shmiling (1978); Original Sufferhead (1981); Unknown Soldier (1981); Army Arrangement (1985) and Beasts of No Nation (1989), among others.

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Fela, an HIV/AIDS denialist, died of the disease on August 2, 1997 at 58 years.

The singer was posthumously nominated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.

With Tina Turner and Fela occupying the first two pole positions Go-Go’s, heavy metal titans Iron Maiden and alt-rock stalwarts Foo Fighters rounded up the top five.

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Although the Rock Hall only shared the top five names when reporting the final vote results, as of late last night Carole King was in sixth place, followed by Todd Rundgren, Devo, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan and Kate Bush.

These top five artists as chosen by the voting public will comprise a fan ballot that gets tallied alongside more than 1,000 other ballots submitted by artists, historians and music industry moguls.

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