Soundgarden and Iron Maiden bring the rock while Willie Nelson and Missy Elliott hint at a diverse shortlist.
Just this past Monday, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame reasserted its mission and prinicples with the statement below.
“Born from the collision of rhythm & blues, country and gospel, rock ‘n’ roll is a spirit that is inclusive and ever-changing. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrates the sound of youth culture and honours the artists whose music connects us all.”
Year in and year out, the Rock Hall announces its shortlist of nominees a few months before sharing that year’s induction class. And year in and year out, some music fans take the opportunity to argue about who does or does not, in fact, ROCK. With the above statement, perhaps the Rock Hall was hoping to sidestep debates around certain artists – like what Dolly Parton endured throughout her 2022 nomination. I don’t think it’ll work, but it’s worth the effort.
And without further ado, here’s the shortlist of nominees for the Class of 2023.
First Time Nominees (* first year of elibility)
Joy Division/New Order
Missy Elliott (*)
The White Stripes (*)
A Tribe Called Quest
Rage Against The Machine
Wow, what a list. Kate Bush and RATM share a third straight year on the shortlist plus four years out of five. You gotta think it’s 2023 or bust for Kate Bush after the incredible year she had on the heels of the Stranger Things “Running Up That Hill” revival. Soundgarden, Iron Maiden, and A Tribe Called Quest each notched their second nominations. Soul legends The Spinners received their fourth nomination.
As for the first-time nominees, here’s a reminder of Rock Hall eligibility criteria:
“To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. Factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation, and superiority in style and technique are taken into consideration.”
That being said, The White Stripes JUST marked 25 years since the release of their first SINGLE. You think the Rock Hall is eager to induct Jack White? The Rock Hall loves artists who also serve as unofficial ambassadors for rock n’ roll. Jack White has spent his career across several bands (including solo work) blending musical past with present, and he has served an oversized role in helping resurrect vinyl culture. I love The White Stripes and miss them dearly. Are they worthy of Rock Hall induction in their very first crack at the honor? And does the arc of Jack’s entire career help their case? These are interesting questions. In a few months, we’ll find out what voters decide. And you can help, since all fan votes are represented on a Fan Ballot.
Rock Hall voters choose five acts to comprise a ballot. If you were an official Rock Hall voter, who makes yours?