Foreigner leader Mick Jones has reacted to his band’s selection into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, noting that the honor is especially meaningful given how long they've had to wait.

“I think it means more to me now than perhaps 20 years ago,” Jones explained to Billboard. “I’ve had a great career, and this is like the whipped cream and cherry on top. It’s something I will savor over the years. It’s a great honor to be included amongst all these great artists that have been inducted over the years."

Rick Wills, Foreigner’s bassist from 1979-1993, also expressed his excitement to Billboard. “We’re more than thrilled. It’s been over 20 years since we’ve been waiting for this day," he declared. "I suppose we were frustrated, to be perfectly honest, but we tried to hide it as best we could because we didn’t want to appear like we were sad people (laughs). I mean what else could you do but what we’ve done already with our music, and what people have appreciated and enjoyed? We didn’t understand why we didn’t get that recognition.”

Foreigner’s Hall Call Was a Long Time Coming

For many years, Foreigner was a curious omission from the Hall of Fame. Despite an incredible career, chart-topping hits and more than 100 million albums sold, the band never even garnered a nomination prior to 2024.

READ MORE: Top 10 Foreigner Songs

“Occasionally it might have entered my mind,” Jones admitted. “I certainly haven’t been overly consumed by it. Every year was the same thing, so eventually I didn’t really worry about it."

On numerous occasions, the band blamed Jann Wenner – co-founder of Rolling Stone and the Hall of Fame – for their exclusion.

"It's a personal vendetta between the gentleman who owns Rolling Stone and Mick [Jones],” original singer Lou Gramm declared in 2023. “It's very juvenile, the whole thing, and I don't think it's gonna get any better. I think it's gonna stay that way. I think we're being made an example of."

In a separate interview later that year, Gramm noted that Wenner once said, "It'll be a cold day in hell before Foreigner gets into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”

READ MORE: 25 Rock Stars Who Have Criticized the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

As fate would have it, Wenner was ousted from the Hall’s board of directors following inflammatory remarks about Black and female artists. Whether by design or coincidence, Foreigner finally received their first nomination once Wenner was out of the picture.

The group openly campaigned for fan support in their quest for induction. Celebrity endorsements came from a wide range of fellow artists, including Slash, Dave Grohl, Josh Homme, Jack Black and Paul McCartney – who memorably declared on social media: "Foreigner not in the Hall of Fame? What the fuck?"

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