The results are in. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced its class of 2023, honoring the legacy of trailblazing musicians across genres and generations. From hip hop artists to country music performers, this year's inductees reflect the Hall's updated mission to depict rock and roll as “a spirit that is inclusive and ever-changing” that “celebrates the sound of youth culture.”
The 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees are Willie Nelson (who just celebrated his 90th birthday), Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, George Michael, and The Spinners. Previously, 14 acts were nominated, meaning that half of the list didn't make the cut. However, those left out—A Tribe Called Quest, Iron Maiden, Joy Division/New Order, Cyndi Lauper, Soundgarden, The White Stripes, and Warren Zevon—can try once again as early as next year.
Missy Elliott made history as the first female hip hop artist to be ever be nominated. Now, she is the only one among the seven inductees to have been voted in during her first year of eligibility, now that her genre is being acknowledged. “I want to say this is HUGE not for just me but all my Sisters in HIPHOP this door is now OPEN to showcase the hard work that many of us WOMEN contribute to MUSIC,” she wrote on Instagram.
The accomplished rapper is join by Crow and Michael as the only musicians this year to land their spots with their first appearance on the ballot. This is Rage Against the Machine’s fifth time as a nominee, and it’s the fourth time for Bush and The Spinners.
In addition to the seven acts in the Performer Category, there are six more names in the Class of 2023. Three figures are being honored as part of the Musical Excellence category: singer Chaka Khan, instrumentalist-producer Al Kooper, and lyricist Bernie Taupin; while guitarist Link Wray and hip-hop trailblazer DJ Kool Herc have earned the Musical Influence Award. Don Cornelius, host of Soul Train, is the recipient of the annual Ahmet Ertegun Award.
“When you can go from Link Wray, who was one of the early influencers, to Missy Elliott and Kate Bush and The Spinners and Rage Against the Machine and Willie Nelson, you have a very diverse body of work. What we are always trying to show is that rock ‘n’ roll is a big tent and a lot of people belong,” declared Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, before unveiling the list of inductees. The nominees were voted on by a pool of 1,200 artists, historians, and music industry professionals.
The induction ceremony, featuring performances and appearances by the inductees, will take place on November 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. To stay up to date with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and how to watch the event, you can follow the institution on Instagram.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced its class of 2023. The Performer Category features Willie Nelson, Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, George Michael and The Spinners.
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