Before Judas Priest’s 2022 Rock Hall Induction, Rob Halford Was Gracious About Their Prior Rejection

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Rob Halford of Judas Priest (Photo by Travis Shinn, used with permission)

When the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrated its 2018 inductees—including Bon Jovi, Dire Straits and the Moody Blues—those artists who were nominated for the class but didn’t make the cut were essentially shunted aside.

Judas Priest, one of the top metal bands in the world, were among those who got pushed aside in December 2017 by the Hall’s voting body and singer Rob Halford was asked during a radio appearance how he felt about that.

Appearing as a guest of Mark & NeanderPaul on 100.7 KSLX, Phoenix, Ariz., later that month, Halford read from the actual rejection letter the band received via email from the Hall’s President and CEO, Greg Harris.

“While you didn’t garner enough votes for induction this year, you were part of a very select group of Hall of Fame nominees,” the letter said. “Artists are frequently on the ballot multiple times before they are inducted. For example, Black Sabbath were nominated eight times before their induction, Patti Smith seven times, Solomon Burke nine times, and both the Beastie Boys and the Yardbirds were on the ballot three times before their respective inductions.”

Judas Priest (Photo: Justin Borucki; used with permission)

The letter went on to invite Halford and the group to drop by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum next time they’re in Cleveland.

Despite the rejection, Halford, born Aug. 25, 1951, was gracious. “We were thrilled and honored to be even nominated, so it’s kind of bittersweet,” he said on the radio program. “We got the nomination, which is something of a recognition for the work that you’ve done, but we didn’t quite get in this time but I’m hopeful that eventually we’ll get some more metal…We just feel that heavy metal music deserves more shelf space at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

Though the interview has been removed from YouTube, you can still watch it on the Mark & NeanderPaul Facebook page.

P.S. When the nominees for the 2020 induction were revealed, Priest were again on the ballot. When the inductees were announced on Jan. 15, 2020, such deserving acts as the Doobie Brothers and T. Rex were selected. As for Priest, they were once again left out, in favor of such “rock favorites” as Whitney Houston and the Notorious B.I.G.

Though they were passed over again in 2021, there is a happy ending. Priest were finally selected for the Hall’s Class of 2022 in the Musical Excellence category. When the news of their selection was announced, the band wrote, “We are thrilled and honored to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 2022. This is also a great moment for British Heavy Metal, Metal worldwide and our amazing fans who support us and keep flying the flag for Metal and Judas Priest!”

The thoughtful Halford gave a particularly warm speech at the band’s induction ceremony.

Related: Who are some of the top artists yet to be inducted?

The band’s busy 2024 includes a new album, Invisible Shield, and tour. Tickets are available here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

6 Comments so far

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  1. v2787
    #1 v2787 26 August, 2019, 09:51

    The HOF is a bit of a joke. ABBA is in it. Patti Smyth is in it. Madonna is in it. Are any of those rock ‘n roll? I didn’t think so either. And yet Judas Priest isn’t in. Neither is Paul Revere and the Raiders, which is a crime. The HOF remains a joke.

    Reply this comment
    • DLOC
      DLOC 26 August, 2019, 14:26

      Rock & Roll hall of fame is for all superior artists OF THE ROCK ERA & NOT exclusive to only rock artists of rock genre….

      Reply this comment
    • DaveMustang
      DaveMustang 26 August, 2019, 15:02

      I agree. Tho from what I understand, it’s strictly a business. So there’s no accountability.

      Reply this comment
    • Dio
      Dio 26 August, 2019, 16:00

      It is a joke. They let freaking rappers in there and that is bullshit. Nothing but Rock bands should be in there. Have a Rap Hall of Fame for that crap.

      Reply this comment
    • Brad
      Brad 23 December, 2021, 06:24

      Patty Smyth (ex-Scandal) is NOT in the RRHOF. Patti Smith is in there and she is a rocker. Not sure what you mean by comparing her to ABBA.

      Reply this comment
  2. ArmenMaiden
    #2 ArmenMaiden 26 August, 2019, 16:56

    The rock and roll Hall of Fame Hall of Fame is a big joke. just like you said it, the Beastie Boys are in …. and I thought the Beastie Boys were a Dance duo. Just think how the Andrew Dice Clay was react to this news.

    Reply this comment

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