K.K. Downing says "it's looking pretty good" that JUDAS PRIEST will finally be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at next year's ceremony.
Having been eligible for induction since 1999, JUDAS PRIEST was on the ballot for last year's class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but ultimately didn't clinch the nomination.
Earlier this month, it was announced that JUDAS PRIEST is among the nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2020. The top vote-getters will be announced in January and inducted May 2, 2020 at a ceremony at Cleveland's Public Hall.
Speaking to the "Unchained" show, which airs on the 101.8 WCR FM Wolverhampton Community Radio station in Wolverhampton, England, Downing said PRIEST is likely to finally get the nod in 2020.
"I think it's looking pretty good this time, to be fair," he said. "I know there was a lot of backlash when we didn't make it the last time a year or two ago.
"It is bloody hard to get into — it really is," he continued. "I think it took [BLACK] SABBATH a long, long time to get in there. I sometimes don't know what you have to do. But what is fairly poignant is that a lot of people [who are also nominated] are not with us today. Obviously, Phil [Taylor] and Lemmy from MOTÖRHEAD; Whitney Houston; Chris Cornell; one of our drummers, obviously, the great Dave Holland is not with us. And there's more, I think.
"I think with the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, you have to have legendary status," Downing added. "There's no such thing as a young legend. [Laughs] So, these are the credentials you've gotta have, I think, before you get a look-in.
"But it is very sad when people are not here, because they didn't actually make it in [earlier]. Because it is, I think, of big, big importance."
Asked if he looks at the Rock Hall induction as an honor, Downing said: "I think you'd have to, really. It's a big thing. It is more stateside than European, I guess. But it is a big thing… As the years tick on and you're rocking away, whether it is in a rocking chair when you're 90 or something, it's just a mantelpiece on a trophy cabinet you get to look at, really. We managed to get a Grammy, which was pretty good, but we were nominated four times for that. But the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is undoubtedly — it is what it is, I think, really."
To be eligible for this year's ballot, each nominee's first single or album had to be released in 1994 or earlier.
A voter pool of more than 1,000 artists, historians, journalists and members of the music industry will select the new class. Fans will also have a chance to take part in the process by voting at RockHall.com or an interactive kiosk at the museum in Cleveland.
Downing, Holland, Les Binks, Rob Halford, Ian Hill, Glenn Tipton and Scott Travis are on the ballot for JUDAS PRIEST.
Halford told Billboard in 2017 that he was not opposed to the idea of reuniting with Downing at the Rock Hall induction ceremony if they were to ever receive the honor. "Everything's on the table for anyone that's been associated with PRIEST in and out of the band," the singer said.