Ben E. King

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1986 (The 1987 Induction Ceremony)

Nominated in: 1986   1987   1988   

Previously Considered? Yes  what's this?

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Stand By Me (1961)
Spanish Harlem (1961)

Ben E. King @ Wikipedia

Ben E. King Videos

Will Ben E. King be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


26 comments so far (post your own)

Although Ben E. King had other big hits, such as "Spanish Harlem" and "Supernatural Thing", there are certain hits that transcend time, and "Stand By Me" is one of those timeless hits that crosses cultures and generations. King himself had already taken the song to the top ten twice, the first time in 1961 and then again in 1986 when the Stephen King movie of the same name was released. He's already been inducted with the Drifters, but here's someone who also should be inducted for his wonderful solo work.

Posted by Charles Crossley Jr on Tuesday, 01.2.07 @ 09:30am

Stand By Me is a classic song have you guys ever see the video he did of it with River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton in it.?

Posted by Dan L on Saturday, 09.8.07 @ 09:27am


Posted by zzy on Thursday, 12.6.07 @ 10:03am

He's not in there? wtf?

Posted by That Guy on Saturday, 07.26.08 @ 20:11pm

If there is a petition I will sign it to get him in.

Posted by -------- on Sunday, 02.22.09 @ 16:55pm

I think you can (and many probably do) make the argument that his solo work didn't differentiate from the Drifters too greatly, I think "Stand By Me" is one of the quintessential rock'n'roll bass lines. Not only in terms of ability to instantly recognize it, but also in terms of pattership: his own follow-up "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)", the Shirelles' "Don't Say Goodnight And Mean Goodbye", Del Shannon's "That's The Way Love Is"... that song is of great importance. And the fact that King had many other hits as a soloist (though not many others that were too well-known) gives him a shot even now of making it.

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 05.26.09 @ 18:39pm

No induction for Ben E. King? He's in with The Drifters though so that's good (I think he is). Also, he hasn't been nominated since '88, so an induction now is probably unlikely

Posted by Keebord on Wednesday, 07.8.09 @ 18:02pm

Yeah, at this point it's unlikely, but he probably should be in as a soloist.

Posted by Philip on Wednesday, 07.8.09 @ 18:07pm

Well he definitely deserves too. A lot more than the Dennis DeYoungs and Steve Perrys who have gotten so much love on this site

Posted by Keebord on Wednesday, 07.8.09 @ 18:09pm

He was nominated 3 x's already. Maybe he'll finally get in this year.

Posted by Joe-Skee on Saturday, 08.29.09 @ 10:24am

BEN E. KING was inducted with The Drifters in 1978.

Posted by Bill G. on Sunday, 08.30.09 @ 12:13pm

You mean, 1988, Bill.

And Ben E. King deserves to be inducted as a solo artist too.

Posted by Philip on Sunday, 08.30.09 @ 12:24pm

1988. Yep. You're right.Sorry. And yes, Ben E. King does deserve individual induction, as does Jerry Butler,though he was already inducted with his group, THE IMPRESSIONS.

Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 08.31.09 @ 00:10am

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Ben E. King and his contribution to modern music has had more of an influence as a solo artist as it ever did with The Drifters. The fact that his songs have stood the test of time, and crossed over into other genres, as well as having had attracted over 35 million hits in a YouTube video in one year certainly makes him a credible inductee. He's getting on now, but he's still alive. Please let's not induct another wonderful, long overdue artist postumously. Make this Ben E. King's year!

Posted by Linda N on Tuesday, 12.29.09 @ 01:41am

Yeah, I'd put him in as a soloist.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Friday, 03.11.11 @ 10:21am

If Percy Sledge made it, certainly Ben E. King should be inducted.

Posted by Joe Bortz on Tuesday, 03.19.13 @ 11:37am

If you are citing Percy Sledge as part of your argument for anyone else getting in, that is not very strong.

Posted by Dezmond on Wednesday, 03.20.13 @ 08:13am

****Ben E.King****

Inducted with The Drifters. Should also go in SOLO. Nominated 3 times solo in 1986,87, & 88, but didn't get in. Very important solo career...numerous hit singles. Singer and songwriter. Had hits well into the Seventies and Eighties, like the Top 10 Pop & R&B smash "Supernatural Thing"...He,like his predecessor,Clyde McPhatter, should go in TWICE.

Posted by Bill G. on Saturday, 04.13.13 @ 20:17pm

As with Jerry Butler, who has been inducted with the vocal group he was part of before embarking on a solo career (The Impressions), Ben E. King deserves a solo induction, as does Butler. Besides the monster hit Stand By Me, his other notable solo recordings include Spanish Harlem, Amor, Don't Play That Song (You Lied), I (Who Have Nothing), Seven Letters, Supernatural Thing Part 1, and Do It in the Name of Love, to name some. Stand By Me also managed to enter the Billboard Top 10 a second time after being used on the soundtrack to Stand By Me in 1986, a feat that has rarely been achieved.

Bill G, I'm sure that you could elucidate further on King's credentials for the Hall of Fame, so I'll pass the torch to you, my fellow brother in soul and doo-wop music. These classic soul singers from the 1960s and 1970s aren't getting younger, so it's high time for the Hall to induct the ones who are still alive before they pass away. It would be a tragedy if King or Butler did not get to accept their solo inductions if they were inducted posthumously. They deserve it!

Posted by Zach on Thursday, 08.8.13 @ 23:04pm

Absolutely, Zach !

Jerry Butler and Ben E. King are WAY overdue as solo artists. Both had big careers after their Hall of Fame Inducted groups. Since you focused on King, I'll say a few words about Butler:

Jerry Butler is a singer, songwriter, producer, politician, and multi-instrumentalist.(oh well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad). He actually wrote his group The Impressions' first hit, the million-selling "For Your Precious Love" well as singing lead on it. He plays: guitar, electric guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, and drums. He is one of the few outside writing collaborators that Gamble & Huff ever had, and he co-wrote many of his hits along with them, including "Hey,Western Union Man", and the million-selling "Only The Strong Survive". Butler wrote, and initially came up with, the idea for RRHOF inductee Otis Redding's immortal hit, "I'VE BEEN LOVING YOU TOO LONG (To Stop Now)".He has had a HUGE career since leaving The Impressions, hosting those great PBS oldies specials, making an album with the "Duke of Earl" Gene Chandler (who also deserves my blog on him at Charles Crossley's "Top Of The Charts" forum), as well as serving as Chairman of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation...helping to fight for the rights of numerous classic R&B artists who were screwed over by the record companies (you guys know who you are).Yes, Jerry and Ben E. deserve second inductions.

I would also consider posthumous inductions for:

Barry White . Bobby Byrd (inducted with The Famous Flames, but deserves to go in again, since he had his own string of hits apart from that group, and was the main architect behind the "James Brown Sound" and one of the unsung pioneers of Funk), Jr Walker & The All-Stars (Motown's ultimate party band), Lou Rawls,Johnnie Taylor, and long-standing groups such as The Spinners, The Whispers, The Dramatics,The Chi-Lites, The Marvelettes, The Commodores,Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles/Labelle, Rufus,Dionne Warwick, and The Manhattans.
To my knowledge,only The O'Jays, and Earth, Wind, and Fire from that era, have been enshrined.

It's CRIMINAL how the RRHOF has COMPLETELY BYPASSED artists of the "Soul Train Era" , that is , late '60's-mid '70's R&B/Soul , and went straight to inducting '80's Rappers, as though that previous era of music NEVER EVEN EXISTED..and the Ultimate Travesty...failing to induct DON CORNELIUS HIMSELF !!!!

Posted by Bill G. on Friday, 08.9.13 @ 03:17am

....and, let's not forget Motown's first successful female solo artist, "Little Miss Hitmaker" herself, the late MARY WELLS !!!

Posted by Bill G. on Friday, 08.9.13 @ 03:25am

RIP Ben E. King :(

Posted by Gassman on Friday, 05.1.15 @ 10:47am

Just got word of Ben E. King's passing. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Joe on Friday, 05.1.15 @ 11:08am

Ben E. King is in the R&R HoF as a member of the Drifters, but that doesn't include such masterful works as "Stand by Me," "Spanish Harlem" or "Supernatural Thing" which were done in his solo career. For the first two alone, he is more than worthy of induction--as a soloist.

The Hall of Fame has a (bad) habit of inducting worthy members posthumously, usually the year after they die (read: Donna Summer, Lou Reed). I wonder, with the passing of King and of Joe Cocker and Lesley Gore--and we're just barely out of April!--if this class is going to be entirely made of dead musicians!

Posted by Joe on Friday, 05.1.15 @ 11:22am

Rest In Peace, Benjamin Earl Nelson.

Y'know, if this class were entirely made up of late musicians, that could be good. Shorter acceptance speeches from surviving family, quick tribute performances... you could actually have 9 or 10 Performer inductees and keep to a schedule.

Posted by Philip on Friday, 05.1.15 @ 21:08pm

Happy Birthday Mr. King Sept 28th. Thank you for your wonderful songs Spanish Harlem, Stand By Me, Supernatural Thing etc that transcend time and place. Your music will live on for decades and now you're with God and loved ones in a higher place. You will rightfully be inducted as a solo artist in RRHOF hopefully in the next 5 years. Will miss the lush baritone and the singing excellence. KING

Posted by KING on Wednesday, 09.28.16 @ 00:07am

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