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Music

Complete list of the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees

@TylerGolsen

If there is one institution that I have most likely squandered my opportunity to join, it’s the voting committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Quite a few music journalists make up the voting pool, and being included among those influential writers should be an honour and a major responsibility. But unfortunately, I take every opportunity I can to mention how ridiculous, inept, and egregiously mismanaged the Hall of Fame truly is. This is one of the few times I agree with Ted Nugent, and that’s kind of scary.

But it can’t be ignored that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is, indeed, a major cultural institution, even if it’s a bit of an eye-rolling one most of the time. People care about who is and isn’t in the Hall of Fame, and the oversights get as much stick as the comments that pop acts like Madonna or rap acts like N.W.A. don’t deserve their spots. When it comes to what constitutes “rock and roll”, no one can quite agree what the parameters should be.

For me, it’s simple: rock and roll should not have a hall of fame. That’s wholly ridiculous and completely antithetical to my own definition of “rock and roll”. The fact that amazing and influential bands like Husker Du, They Might Be Giants, Sonic Youth, Bad Brains, MC5, and even The Smiths might never get in is just proof that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t even worth scoffing at. Their willingness to let bands exclude certain members is equally irredeemable: shouldn’t a museum preserve history, not hand-pick which parts of history it wants to tell?

So with all that being said, let’s obsess over the new round of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees! Just when I think I don’t care anymore, they have to hit me in my soft spot for Dolly Parton.

Parton is one of 17 artists nominated for induction for the Class of 2022. The country troubadour would likely be the one to open the floodgates for more legendary country artists like Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson to be inducted, seeing as how the only major country star currently in the hall is Johnny Cash.

It’s quite a diverse field this time around: there are representatives from protopunk, hip hop, R&B, new wave, heavy metal, alternative rock, and even world beat. It’s a pretty clear indication that the Hall is trying to expand its scope beyond classic rock, which I’m sure will lead to gripes from purists and calls that this is now the “Popular Music Hall of Fame”. Those people definitely need to relax, because any music hall of fame that doesn’t have Fela Kuti in it is just plain wrong.

Of the 17 nominees, six are seeing their first time on the ballot. Among them are alt rock pioneer Beck, new wave pretty boys Duran Duran, rap god Eminem, the aforementioned American treasure Dolly Parton, smooth pop trailblazer Lionel Richie, singer-songwriter extraordinaire Carly Simon, and hip hop innovators A Tribe Called Quest. Of these, Eminem is the only artist whose inclusion comes in his first year of eligibility. It takes 25 years since your first release to become eligible for the Hall, with Eminem’s debut LP Infinite coming out at the tail end of 1996.

Other artists who are appearing for at least the second time on the ballot include Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, DEVO, the MC5, the New York Dolls, Judas Priest, Eurythmics, Dionne Warwick, and Fela Kuti. I thought Rage Against the Machine were an easy bet for induction during their first year of eligibility in 2017, but nominations in 2018, 2019, and 2021 flew by without the band’s inclusion. Could this be the year, or is Jann Wenner too afraid of what Zack de la Rocha might use his platform to say?

Check out all of the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees down below.

2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees:

  • Beck*
  • Pat Benatar
  • Kate Bush
  • DEVO
  • Duran Duran* 
  • Eminem*
  • Eurythmics
  • Judas Priest
  • Fela Kuti
  • MC5
  • New York Dolls
  • Dolly Parton*
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Lionel Richie*
  • Carly Simon*
  • A Tribe Called Quest*
  • Dionne Warwick

*indicates first-time nominee