And this year’s nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame include (drum roll please) both artists who are long overdue and others who, once again, are completely confusing.
Many music fans long have asked why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame includes artists who objectively are not rock artists (not even catch-all internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, who anyone can edit, offers a clear explanation) and this year’s list of nominees won’t help alleviate those concerns.
The 2022 list of first-time nominees includes Beck, Duran Duran, A Tribe Called Quest, Lionel Richie, Eminem, Dolly Parton, and Carly Simon – all names that, based on the past decisions of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, one would reasonably believe to already be included.
The remaining artists who previously have been nominated but not selected – a fact that would leave even the most jaded music critics scratching their heads – are Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, DEVO, the Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Fela Kuti, MC5, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, and Dionne Warwick.
Right away, names stand out that objectively many music fans would agree, while all of these artists are unparalleled in their originality, success, and influence on generations of subsequent artists, they don’t fall under the rock and roll umbrella.
Fela Kuti? The Nigerian-born multi-instrumentalist, composer, bandleader, and political activist is undoubtedly the pioneer of Afrobeat and African music. Dolly Parton? Loveable, yes, and writer of timeless classics. Dionne Warwick? Psychic hotline or not, her history of 56 charted singles speaks for itself. A Tribe Called Quest? For sure, they helped shape the sound of hip-hop as we know it. Carly Simon? Whoever she really wrote “You’re So Vain” about, she doesn’t exactly come to mind when one thinks of rock and roll, but makes sense?
And British new-wave-of-heavy-metal-pioneers Judas Priest, punk progenitors MC5, glam trailblazers the New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, Beck, Pat Benatar, DEVO, Eurythmics, and Duran Duran – it’s hard to believe all of them aren’t already inducted.
Eligibility for nomination into the Rock Hall requires individual artists and bands to have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination.
“This year’s ballot recognizes a diverse group of incredible artists, each who has had a profound impact on the sound of youth culture,” said John Sykes, chair of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “Their music not only moved generations but also influenced the sound of countless artists that followed.”
The hall’s website says the date of the induction ceremony, which will be held in Los Angeles, will be announced “later this year.”
Want to cast a vote for one of the nominated artists? You can do so here, but it requires entering a valid email address.