Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Robert Plant
With the induction of Ringo Starr into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, largely for his work to promote other artists with his All Starr Bands, the question of the worthiness of solo artists of noted and famous bands has become particularly more serious. Ringo Starr’s induction, like that of artists and bands like Laura Nyro and Faces/Small Faces, makes it likely that solo artists with any degree of fame and influence, especially those who have already been inducted in other bands, will see their own work as worthy of induction. This is especially so given that Robert Plant has remained creative and remained influential in the decades after Led Zeppelin’s breakup. There is some question, of course, whether Robert Plant should be inducted separately from Jimmy Page, with whom he collaborated in three successful albums, but given the precedent of even somewhat marginal solo artists being inducted multiple times once being part of a massively successful band, it is clear that Robert Plant’s candidacy for solo induction has received a major boost as a result of Ringo Starr’s success, given the fact that Plant has had more popularity as a solo artist and that both share a strong interest in collaboration with other artists.
Robert Plant’s Influence
The influence of Robert Plant as a solo artist is largely a continuation of his influence as lead singer of Led Zeppelin. This influence includes a strong interest in world music that is blended with rock & roll, a reinterpretation of the existing blues and R&B traditions, and in ambitious conceptual records that combine questions of religion, fate, and politics. This influence has been recognized through large amounts of Grammy nominations and awards, giving him the sort of high profile of someone like Sting  as an interpreter of the world’s musical styles and as a successful person in introducing these genres of music to American (and British) audiences. This influence has come not only from Plant’s solo albums, with a variety of backing bands and duet partners and incarnations as diverse as the Honeydrippers, Jimmy Page, Allison Krauss, the Band of Joy, the Strange Sensation, and the Sensational Space Shifters. Whatever artists have been playing with him, Robert Plant’s music has remained popular and influential, especially as judged by award nominations and album sales.
Why Robert Plant Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Besides the popularity of Robert Plant’s solo material on the Mainstream Rock chart (where he had five solo #1 hits: Other Arms, Little By Little, Heaven Knows, Tall Cool One, and Hurting Kind (I’ve Got My Eyes On You)” along with numerous other genre hits (including one #1 Mainstream Rock hit with Jimmy Page, “Most High”), he managed to have one top ten (a remake of “Sea Of Love” with the Honeydrippers) and several other top 40 hits (“Big Log,” “In The Mood,” “Rockin’ At Midnight,” and “Little By Little” among them) on the mainstream chart, some of which remain as commonly played songs on AAA and classic rock stations. In addition to this, his work with Allison Krauss was particularly notable, including six Grammy wins for the two of them over the course of two years . In addition to this, the album success of Robert Plant as a solo artist is the record of an artist worthy of induction: three of his collaboration albums have gone platinum, and the other one went gold, and among his other solo albums, he has one multi-platinum album, two platinum albums, and three other gold albums. That combination of artistic worth, critical appeal, ability to collaborate well with others, and record sales is a strong case for induction.
Why Robert Plant Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
If Small Faces, Ringo Starr, and Laura Nyro are worthy of being in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, why not induct Robert Plant. To be sure, there are artists with even stronger cases for induction, but Plant’s case is a strong one, especially given the marked bias of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to induct the same person multiple times in multiple guises. An induction of Robert Plant with Jimmy Page, for example, would be an easy way to honor the solo work of such artists. It would appear that the only question is who to induct Robert Plant with, given his large amount of backing musicians over the course of his long and successful solo career.
Verdict: Put him in, perhaps with the rest of his Honeydrippers collaborators (Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck) or with Jimmy Page alone, or perhaps with Allison Krauss as well, especially if they work together more.