Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announces its fresh nominees

Cleveland, Ohio - Beck, Eminem, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, and A Tribe Called Quest are among the acts nominated for the first time for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the organization announced on Wednesday.

Dolly Parton (r.) and Eminem lead the pack among those in the running to become immortalized in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year.
Dolly Parton (r.) and Eminem lead the pack among those in the running to become immortalized in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year.  © Collage: IMAGO/UPI Photo, MediaPunch, & ZUMA Wire

Also on the ballot for the class of 2022 are Duran Duran and Carly Simon – both first-time nominees – as well as 10 acts who've previously been up for induction: Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, Devo, Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Fela Kuti, the MC5, the New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, and Dionne Warwick.

The diverse group of artists representing pop, rock, country, hip-hop, new wave, proto-punk, rap-rock, heavy metal, Afrobeat, and R&B is in keeping with recent picks by the hall, which – after years of criticism that it overvalued the work of older white men – has broadened its selection process along gender, race, and style lines.

When Jay-Z joined the organization last year, he said, "Growing up, we didn't think we could be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," and added that he hoped he was showing the "next generation that anything is possible."

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In a statement announcing 2022's nominees, the hall noted that "the last two years represent the top two nominee classes in terms of women representation in the last 30 years."

Women inducted in 2021 included Tina Turner, Carole King,and the Go-Go's. Warwick and Bush had been on the ballot but didn't get voted in, along with Chaka Khan and Mary J Blige.

What makes an artist eligible for Hall of Fame induction?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum is located in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum is located in Cleveland, Ohio.  © Lena Grotticelli

An artist or band becomes eligible for induction 25 years after release of a first commercial recording.

Among this year's nominees, only Eminem, whose debut album came out in 1996 — and who's set to perform during this month's Super Bowl halftime show — received a nod in his first year of eligibility.

In the statement, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation chairperson John Sykes said the ballot recognizes artists who've "had a profound impact on the sound of youth culture." Nominations are voted on by more than 1,000 musicians, executives, historians, and journalists.

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Inductees will be announced in May, with a ceremony to take place in the fall. The hall said details about the ceremony's date and location would be announced later.

If Eminem and A Tribe Called Quest were to be inducted, they would follow a number of other hip-hop acts voted in during the last few years, including Jay-Z, NWA, Tupac Shakur, and the Notorious BIG. As a country singer and songwriter, Parton would join a Nashville contingent that includes Johnny Cash, Brenda Lee, Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers, among others.

Drawing attention to connections between this year's nominees, the Rock Hall pointed out that Warwick was a featured vocalist on 1985's We Are the World single, which Richie co-wrote, and that A Tribe Called Quest prominently sampled Simon's song Why for a remix of its classic, Bonita Applebum..

Beyond Jay-Z and the aforementioned women, the Rock Hall's 2021 inductees were Foo Fighters and Todd Rundgren.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/UPI Photo, MediaPunch, & ZUMA Wire

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