Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has officially announced this year's inductees RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Kate Bush, George Michael, Sheryl Crow and THE SPINNERS will all be inducted during a ceremony held in Brooklyn on November 3.
In addition, Chaka Khan, Al Kooper and Bernie Taupin will be honored with the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's Musical Excellence Award. Meanwhile, DJ Kool Herc and Link Wray will receive the Musical Influence Award. 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.
The induction ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center. Details of the TV broadcast will be announced at a later date.
"We're very happy with this year's class," says 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."
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Rock Hall induction will come after the band appeared on six ballots.
"There's a funny mix of people that do the voting," 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."
Speaking with Rolling Stone in March, Morello said he didn't know if the band would perform at the ceremony if they were inducted. "I will definitely be there. Beyond that, we haven't discussed that…I would hope so, though."
To be eligible for this year's ballot, each nominee's first single or album had to have been released in 1998 or earlier. Eight of the nominees (Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, JOY DIVISION/NEW ORDER, Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, Willie Nelson, THE WHITE STRIPES and Warren Zevon) were on the ballot for the first time.
The 2023 class was chosen by a group of over 1,000 artists, historians, and members of the music industry the Rock Hall has selected as voters.
IRON MAIDEN was on the ballot for the second time this year, but the institution's voters snubbed them once again.
The only metal or metal-adjacent acts to have made it into the Rock Hall so far have been BLACK SABBATH, LED ZEPPELIN, METALLICA, AC/DC, JUDAS PRIEST, KISS, VAN HALEN, RUSH, GUNS N' ROSES and DEEP PURPLE.
IRON MAIDEN finished in the fourth place in the fan vote for this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction class.
George Michael led the fan vote with more than 1,040,000 ballots while Cyndi Lauper came in second with more than 928,000 votes. Warren Zevon came in third with more than 634,000 votes, with IRON MAIDEN landing more than 449,000 votes. Coming in the fifth place was SOUNDGARDEN with more than 427,000 votes.
More than three million votes were cast since voting began. The top five artists, as selected by the public, comprised a "fans' ballot" that was tallied along with the other ballots to select the 2023 inductees.
Four years ago, IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris said that he didn't care that his band had yet to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame despite the fact that it had been eligible since 2004.
"I don't mind that we're not in things like that," he told Rolling Stone in an interview. "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."
Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal groups like MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that band's first year of eligibility.
MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson made headlines in 2018 when he referred to the Rock Hall as "an utter and complete load of bollocks" during a spoken-word gig in Australia, insisting that the Cleveland-based institution is "run by a bunch of sanctimonious bloody Americans who wouldn't know rock and roll if it hit them in the face."
Bruce later told The Jerusalem Post that he was "so annoyed with that coverage because they took my statement out of context to make it seem like I was upset that we weren't in the Hall Of Fame.
"I'm really happy we're not there and I would never want to be there," he continued. "If we're ever inducted, I will refuse — they won't bloody be having my corpse in there.
"Rock and roll music does not belong in a mausoleum in Cleveland," Bruce added. "It's a living, breathing thing, and if you put it in a museum, then it's dead. It's worse than horrible, it's vulgar."
Harris previously told "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" that he wasn't concerned about whether IRON MAIDEN would eventually be inducted into the Rock Hall. "I don't really think about it, to be honest. I think awards are things that are nice to have when you get them, but it's not something you're really striving for — it's not what it's about it," he said. "It's never been about that. It's aways been about just trying to make good music and go out and play good live shows, and that's it, really. Hopefully people will appreciate it. It's probably nice when people give you awards — don't get me wrong; I think it's great — but it's not something that you would lose sleep over if you didn't get any.
"It's the way that I am," Harris added. "I don't know. Maybe the rest of the guys [in the band] might think differently to me, but that's the way I think. It's not that I don't care about [awards]. It's just… And it's not that they're not meaningful when you do get 'em — it's nice. But I certainly don't worry about it or anything like that. I think other people are the ones that make a bigger deal out of it than us, about whether we got one or not."
Having been eligible for induction for nearly two decades, IRON MAIDEN is one of the biggest bands on the planet. Since the release of their self-titled debut album, the British heavy metal legends have released a further 16 full-length studio records, and sold over 100 million copies.
Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible a quarter century after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other "criteria include the influence and significance of the artists' contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock 'n' roll," which is, of course, open to interpretation.
Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn't get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014.