Heart to be Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Heart's leaders Ann Wilson, a graduate of Sammamish High School, and her sister Nancy Wilson, who also graduated from Bellevue schools, have lead the band since the 1970s.

Heart, the classic rock band with ties to Bellevue, is now officially legendary -- they are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 2013 inductees.

The band's leaders, Ann and Nancy Wilson, who grew up in a military family and graduated from Bellevue schools, are notable for being among the women pioneers in rock music, as the 2011 PBS documentary "Women who Rock" notes. (Heart fans can watch the video online.)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had this to say about the group:

With a mix of hard rock riffs and lush, driving harmonies, Heart emerged from the Pacific Northwest with one of the most original sounds of the 1970s. Behind Ann Wilson’s powerhouse voice — one of the best in rock — and Nancy Wilson’s percussive guitar playing, along with guitarist Roger Fisher, bassist Steve Fossen, guitarist/keyboard player Howard Leese and drummer Michael DeRosier, Heart recorded a series of albums that stand as the best mix of hard rock and folk rock of their era: Dreamboat Annie,Little Queen, Dog And Butterfly and Bebe Le Strange. All those records included hit singles that remain standards of rock radio: “Magic Man,” “Crazy On You,” “Heartless” and “Barracuda.” Over their long career, Heart has released six Top 10 albums and 20 Top 40 singles. The first women to front a hard rock band, Ann and Nancy Wilson were pioneers, claiming the stage in a way that inspired women to pick up an electric guitar or start a band. When MTV transformed mainstream rock in the 1980s, Heart adapted and recorded some of the signature songs of the era: “Alone,” “What About Love” and “These Dreams.”  In the 1990s, they returned to their roots with Desire Walks On and The Road Home, and in the last decade, they’ve released two of the strongest albums of their careers: Jupiter’s Darling and Red Velvet Car.

The group was also nominated last year, but didn't get in.

The family of Ann and Nancy Wilson, sisters who have been leaders of the group since the 1970s, settled in Bellevue after their father retired from military service. Ann Wilson, Heart's lead singer, graduated from Sammamish High School in the 1960s. Her sister Nancy, guitarist, also graduated from Bellevue schools.

Heart released its first record, Dreamboat Annie, in Canada in 1975 and have had hit albums in every decade since then.

Their notable hits include "Barracuda," "Crazy on You," "What About Love," and "Alone," which has become a staple of American Idol hopefuls.

The Wilson sisters have co-written some of their hits with Sue Ennis, a friend from high school and now an instructor at Shoreline Community College.

Along with Heart, this year's inductees include:

  • Albert King
  • Donna Summer
  • Lou Adler
  • Public Enemy
  • Quincy Jones
  • Randy Newman
  • Rush

What do you think? Is this legendary status deserved or overdue? What's your favorite song by Heart? Tell us in the comments.

Heidi Dean December 12, 2012 at 01:57 AM
I have died and gone to Heaven. Both Rush and Heart to be inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the same year- woo hoo! This is LONG overdue for both bands. Hopefully that means other progressive rock groups like Yes and Styx will finally be recognized.
L. d. L. December 12, 2012 at 03:57 AM
I love Heart and Ann and Nancy. I've been to several of their early concerts and none have even compared to them. It is really long past due that they receive this award. They are true pioneers of women who rock. "The real thing" most definitely. Ann's voice is still great today and Nancy can still rock with her guitar and her great voice. These women don't just sing, they write and play many different instruments. Congratulations to them both. Definitely deserving of this.
Jean December 12, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Heart was and is great. Went to school with Roger Fischer and Steve Fossen. Great to be close to a group. They definately deserve to get in the Hall of Fame.
Brian T. December 13, 2012 at 07:39 AM
This is great to see. Their parents were very close family friends when I was growing up in Bellevue in the 1970s; having known Ann and Nancy's mom and dad remains one of the best things in my life. They were genuinely great people. But even beyond my personal bias on this point, I think Buhain sets out a cogent review of the reasons Heart was, and is, a significant and groundbreaking band, meriting a place in the R&R HOF.
Deborah Porretto December 13, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I'm a long time fan of HEART. Ann & Nancy have inspired me with their music for all of my life. I'm so happy that they are finally after all these years being recognized by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Congrats!
Kendall Watson December 13, 2012 at 09:56 PM
"Crazy on You" is my favorite HEART song, but I'm not shy to admit that I did like the Heart/Loverboy duet in "Almost Paradise". Ah, the 1980s.
Greg Johnston (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Cool piece on Heart's top 10 songs. No. 1? "These Dreams" http://www.aolradioblog.com/2010/08/29/top-heart-songs/
Margaret Santjer December 14, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I'd have to go with "These Dreams" and "What About Love." And yes, Kendall, ah, the '80s.
L. d. L. December 25, 2012 at 05:53 AM
My favorite "Heart" song would have to be "Crazy On You". I love "Dreamboat Annie" and "How Deep It Goes" too. There are so many great Heart songs and some I can't remember the name of that weren't even released. "Love Alive" was a really great one performed live. "Barracuda, Alone, Magic Man, These Dreams, Dog and Butterfly, just to name a few more.


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