The Blues Hall of Fame honors those who have made the Blues timeless through performance, documentation, and recording. Since its inception in 1980, The Blues Foundation has inducted new members annually into the Blues Hall of Fame for their historical contribution, impact and overall influence on the Blues. Members are inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in five categories: Performers, Individuals, Classic of Blues Literature, Classic of Blues Recording (Song), Classic of Blues Recording (Album). Since 1980, The Blues Foundation has inducted 350+ performers, industry professionals, recordings and literature into the Blues Hall of Fame. Of the 130 performer inductees, 120 of them are African-American.
A Blues Hall of Fame induction ceremony is held each year in Memphis and a web presence has long existed but there has never been a bricks and mortar presence, never physical exhibits to honor the legends or for people to learn from and enjoy. Until now. On May 8, 2015, The Blues Foundation opened the Blues Hall of Fame in downtown Memphis across the street from the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
The Blues Hall of Fame: (1) pays tribute to the great blues men and women, giving them and their music the respect and validation they deserve; (2) annually educates tens of thousands of visitors about blues music and its performers, whether those visitors are young school children or music fans from around the globe; and (3) brings tens of thousands of visitors into contact with The Blues Foundation, for increased membership, increased donations to our HART Fund and Generation Blues programs and merchandise sales that help fund all of our programs.
The Blues Hall of Fame is the place to: honor inductees year-round; educate the public about the music; experience audio and visual performances; and preserve historic mementos of this art form. The Blues Hall of Fame is the place for serious blues fans, casual visitors, and wide-eyed students. It facilitates audience development and membership growth. It exposes, enlightens, educates, and entertains. The facility serves all four components of The Blues Foundation’s mission: preserving history, celebrating excellence, supporting education, and ensuring the future of the music.
Over $2.9 million was raised to build the Blues Hall of Fame. Of the $2.9 million, $2 million came from blues fans around the world while much of the rest was donated by Memphis philanthropic foundations.