Original Foreigner singer Lou Gramm claims his former band was blackballed from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

In a recent interview with Good Day Rochester, Gramm noted that Foreigner’s guitarist, Mick Jones, was at one point close friends with Jann Wenner, creator of Rolling Stone magazine and a co-founder of the Hall of Fame.

“Their families were close, they used to run together and have dinner with the families and see each other socially a lot. They were good friends,” the singer recalled. So as Foreigner watched bands from the ‘70s and ‘80s getting inducted, while they never even received a nomination, confusion set in.

“When we didn't get inducted with our peers, and most of the bands in the era that we were successful in had all gotten into the Hall of Fame, Mick and our manager went to see [Wenner],” Gram recalled. “They had an appointment, and they went to see him and asked him if there was something we had done or said or something that insulted him. They couldn't understand why we weren't brought up for induction.”

READ MORE: 135 Artists Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Gramm admitted he wasn’t present for the meeting with Wenner, but relayed what he was told about the conversation.

“It got real heated,” Gramm said. “And when our manager and Mick got up to leave, [Wenner] said, 'It'll be a cold day in hell before Foreigner gets into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.'"

Foreigner Has Been Hall of Fame Eligible Since 2003

Acts become eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after their first release. Despite selling more than 80 million albums and scoring such notable hits as "Hot Blooded," "Juke Box Hero" and "I Want to Know What Love Is," Foreigner has never appeared on the ballot of nominees.

READ MORE: The Enduring Legacy of Foreigner's 'I Want to Know What Love Is'

In a 2022 interview with Marc Maron, Wenner was asked if his own personal grudges were reflected in the Hall’s omissions.

“There is talk of that, but I don’t control that. I’m not on the nominating committee,” he responded. Asked specifically about Foreigner, Wenner said he had “nothing against Foreigner. In fact, I was very good friends with Mick Jones … but, you know, Foreigner’s name has never come up in a nominating committee to be nominated.”

Foreigner Albums Ranked

It's hard to imagine rock radio without the string of hit singles Foreigner peeled off in the '70s and '80s.

Gallery Credit: Jeff Giles

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