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Upper Darby’s Todd Rundgren elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Delco songwriter will enter the Hall of Fame alongside some notable performers, including Jay-Z, the Foo Fighters, and Tina Turner.

Upper Darby native son Todd Rundgren, shown here at the Tower Theater in 2012.
Upper Darby native son Todd Rundgren, shown here at the Tower Theater in 2012.Read moreApril Saul / File Photograph

The fourth time was the charm for Todd Rundgren, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after failing to make the cut for three straight years.

The Upper Darby songwriter known and loved for hits like “Hello, It’s Me,” “Bang the Drum All Day,” and “Can We Still Be Friends?” will enter the Hall of Fame alongside notable performers including Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, the Go-Go’s, Tina Turner, and Carole King.

The hall noted that Rundgren is a “true jack of all trades” and highlighted his ability to redefine the sound of rock through “genre-melding songwriting and production.”

Rundgren isn’t exactly the biggest fan of the Rock Hall and has called its fan vote “a scam.”

“It’s no secret that I don’t care about it,” Rundgren said of the Hall of Fame in February, during a break from rehearsals in Chicago for his Clearly Human Virtual Tour. “It doesn’t matter how many times they nominate me. It’s not gonna make me care.”

Rundgren grew up in Upper Darby and graduated from Upper Darby High School in 1966. Shortly after graduation, he formed the band Nazz. He told the Daily News in 1982 that his fondest memories of his alma mater involved “hanging out in the auditorium after class, playing the piano, while all the other kids were off playing sports.”

While the high school has since embraced its famous alum, in 1977 the Daily News reported that a day to honor Rundgren was called off. “Todd was not our model student,” an official told the Daily News. “His behavior records are something we’d rather forget.”

Regardless, each of the new inductees will be honored during an induction ceremony in Cleveland on Oct. 30 before what organizers hope is a full house of fans enjoying live music again.

The hall will also welcome LL Cool J, Billy Preston, and Randy Rhoads with musical excellence awards and honor Kraftwerk, Gil Scott-Heron, and Charley Patton as early influencers.

Before getting into the hall in their special categories, LL Cool J and Kraftwerk had each been nominated six times as performers without being elected.

Clarence Avant, a former manager, label owner, and concert organizer, is being given the Ahmet Ertegun Award as a nonperformer. His impact on the music industry was highlighted in the 2019 Netflix documentary The Black Godfather.

King, Turner, and the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl bring the number of artists inducted into the Rock Hall twice to 26. Prior to King and Turner, Stevie Nicks had been the only woman with that distinction.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.