Rock Hall 2023 Nominees Include Willie Nelson, Warren Zevon and Iron Maiden

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Willie Nelson performing at Farm Aid 2018, September 22, 2018

Willie Nelson, Warren Zevon, Iron Maiden, Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, and Sheryl Crow are among the 14 acts that have been nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023. The list also includes the White Stripes, Joy Division/New Order, Missy Elliott, Kate Bush, Soundgarden, the Spinners, A Tribe Called Quest and Rage Against the Machine. The inductees will be announced in May; the 2023 Induction Ceremony will take place this fall with date, venue, and on-sale information to be announced.

The Rock Hall has long defended its decision to broaden the musical scope of the artists it has inducted. A new mission statement was revealed on Jan. 30. “Born from the collision of rhythm and blues, country, and gospel, rock and roll is a spirit that is inclusive and ever-changing.” The Hall “celebrates the sound of youth culture and honors the artists whose music connects us all.” Over the past several decades, major non-rock artists like 2022 inductees Dolly Parton and Lionel Richie, LL Cool J in 2021, Whitney Houston and Notorious B.I.G. in 2020, and so on, have been selected.

The 2022 ceremony featured a marked return to the participation of big names to the festivities with such stars as Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, The Edge, and younger acts like Olivia Rodrigo.

The public also cast votes for their choice in an online process. Through April 28, fans can vote online every day at or in person at the Museum in Cleveland. The top five artists selected by the public will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to determine the 2023 Inductees.

Among the scores of deserving acts who continue to be ignored by the secret selection committee are such classic rock legends as Bad Company, Jethro Tull, Peter Frampton, and Joe Cocker. Meat Loaf and Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, both of whom died recently, are among the many other deserving acts who can now only be inducted posthumously.

The nominees are determined each year by a small group of music insiders made up of artist managers, booking agents, musicians, journalists, radio programmers, label executives, and others. Some of the more familiar names are Jon Landau, Steven Van Zandt, Anthony DeCurtis, Dave Grohl and Paul Shaffer.

Each new class is selected by an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, including current living Inductees, historians and members of the music industry, as well as that all-important, single “fan vote.”

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.

Related: 100 crucial omissions to the Rock Hall

Lauper acknowledged her 2023 nomination. “It’s such an honor and thrill to be recognized by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a nominee. Seeing my name on this year’s ballot with so many talents that I admire means so much to me. It has been a lifetime privilege to reach so many different kinds of fans with a message of following your own path (and having fun along the way, too). To my wonderful fans: Thank you for your support and love over the years!”

In order to be eligible, an artist must have made their first recording 25 years prior to the current year.

Related: A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cynic visits the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In recent years, the Rock Hall has inducted many core rock acts that it had overlooked for decades. Notably, Pat Benatar (and her husband Neil Giraldo) and Judas Priest were finally chosen in 2022. Todd Rundgren was among those selected for the Class of 2021. The Doobie Brothers were in the Class of 2020. In 2019, it was Def Leppard and the Zombies’ turn, with Stevie Nicks as a solo artist. 2018 saw the Moody Blues, the Cars, Bon Jovi and Dire Straits join the fold. Yes, the Electric Light Orchestra and Journey were all members of the Class of 2017.

Related: 100 more crucial Rock Hall omissions

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4 Comments so far

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  1. José
    #1 José 1 February, 2023, 14:58

    Not a Serious Hall of Fame if not Jethro Tull. Like a Soccer Hall of Fame without Pelé

    Reply this comment
  2. Linda
    #2 Linda 2 February, 2023, 05:48

    I can’t believe the H of F continues to ignore Boz Scaggs!!!!!

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    • Gordon
      Gordon 2 February, 2023, 09:09

      Dave Matthews Band are innovators with a unique sound and deep catalog. How is it possible that the rock hall continues to ignore them?

      Reply this comment
  3. JCB
    #3 JCB 2 February, 2023, 08:36

    Another absurd collection of nominees. Are we going country now? Still no Tull or Bad Co., no Guess Who, the list is endless. The hall obviously has a prejudice against Canadians. George should have been in years ago as well as Warren. The Hall of Shame rolls on into obscurity.

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