The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame announced its Class of 2023 on Wednesday, and while Rage Against The Machine was among those chosen to be inducted, the remaining honorees are decidedly less rock.
Along with Rage, Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Kate Bush, George Michael, Sheryl Crow and The Spinners will be inducted during a ceremony in Brooklyn on November 3.
Other artists to be honored with the Musical Excellence Award include Chaka Khan, Al Cooper and Bernie Taupin. The Musical Influence Award will honor DJ Kool Herc and legendary rockabilly guitarist Link Wray.
The late creator and host of “Soul Train” Don Cornelius is this year’s recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which honors non-performing industry professionals.
“We’re very happy with this year’s class,” said Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame CEO and president Joel Peresman. “People always try to pigeonhole what rock and roll is, but our story has always been that it’s a wide tent. It includes all different kinds of genres. We think this class really shows the breadth of rock and roll. When you have Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow and The Spinners along with Rage Against The Machine and Willie Nelson, you’re covering a lot of things.”
The only other artists to be nominated that truly landed under the hard rock/heavy metal umbrella were Iron Maiden and Soundgarden, but the Hall’s voters snubbed them both.
“There’s a funny mix of people that do the voting,” Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello told Rolling Stone in March. “It’s people that are already in. There’s an age component. There’s a leaning mainstream component as well…If you saw any of the Rage Against The Machine shows last summer, you’d be hard-pressed to make an argument against us.”
Morello wasn’t sure if the band would play at the ceremony. “I will definitely be there. Beyond that, we haven’t discussed that…I would hope so, though.”
Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris told Rolling Stone four years ago: “I don’t mind that we’re not in things like that. I don’t think about things like that. It’s very nice if people give you awards or accolades, but we didn’t get into the business for that sort of thing. I’m certainly not going to lose sleep if we don’t get any sort of award, not just that one, any award. I don’t think we deserve to have this or that necessarily. With what we do, whatever comes of it is great. Whatever doesn’t come of it is great, too.”
Numerous hard rock and heavy metal artists didn’t even make the nominations list earlier this year. Notable snubs include: Foreigner, Motörhead, Styx, Boston, Thin Lizzy, REO Speedwagon, Pantera, Ronnie James Dio, Motley Crue, Jethro Tull, Sammy Hagar, MC5, J. Geils Band, Eddie Money, Danzig (and/or Misfits), Alice In Chains and Smashing Pumpkins, among others.
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