The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Reveals Class of 2022
On Wednesday morning (May 4), the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced which of this year’s nominees will be inducted at the 2022 ceremony on Nov. 5 in Los Angeles.
Rock hitmakers Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, new wave chart-toppers Duran Duran, hip-hop heavyweight Eminem, synth-pop duo Eurythmics, country legend Dolly Parton, R&B hitmaker Lionel Richie and pop singer-songwriter Carly Simon lead the Class of 2022.
Additionally, heavy metal fixtures Judas Priest and songwriting/production powerhouse duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis are also joining the Rock Hall with the “award for musical excellence” (which was originally titled the “sidemen” category when it debuted). Judas Priest is the second band to receive the award for musical excellence; the E Street Band was the first.
“Wow, this is so exciting — at last. At last, you know?” Judas Priest’s Rob Halford told Billboard after receiving the news before the public announcement. “And, glory hallelujah, there’s another metal band in the hall of fame! That’s the blessing we’ve all been waiting for.”
Under the “early influence award” category, the “King of Calypso” Harry Belafonte and folk and blues legend Elizabeth Cotten are joining the RRHOF. Allen Grubman, Jimmy Iovine and Sylvia Robinson are the recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award. Robinson is just the fourth woman to receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award. Moreover, she’s the first Black woman and the first woman who was primarily known as a record label executive to receive that award. The first three women to receive the award were songwriters Carole King (1990) and Ellie Greenwich and Cynthia Weil (both 2010).
“This diverse group of inductees each had a profound impact on the sound of youth culture and helped change the course of rock & roll,” said John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in a press statement. “Their music moved generations and influenced so many artists that followed.”
Artists are eligible for Rock Hall nomination 25 years after their first commercial recording came out. Of this class, Eminem, Duran Duran, Richie, Simon and Parton see induction after appearing on the ballot just once. This is also Eminem’s first year of eligibility; 2022 marked the second nomination for Eurythmics and Benatar.
“Being elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is an incredible honor. I would like to say THANK YOU to all of the voters, to all of my wonderful fans and to everyone at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Congratulations to all of my fellow 2022 inductees!” Richie said in a statement to Billboard.
Parton’s induction comes after she turned down her nomination for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March. “Even though I’m extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I don’t feel that I have earned that right,” Parton said on social media. “I really do not want votes split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out.”
However, just days before the inductees were announced, the 10-time Grammy winner shared in an interview with NPR that she would “accept gracefully” if she were to receive the honor, as the RRHOF announced they’ll be keeping her on the ballot despite her statement. “I would just say thanks and I’ll accept it because the fans vote,” she continued. “But when I said that, it was always my belief that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was for the people in rock music, and I have found out lately that it’s not necessarily that. But if they can’t go there to be recognized, where do they go? So I just felt like I would be taking away from someone that maybe deserved it, certainly more than me, because I never considered myself a rock artist. But obviously, there’s more to it than that.”
The 2022 ceremony will be the first time in the Hall’s 37-year history that six female acts — Benatar, Parton, Simon, Cotten, Robinson and Annie Lennox (who comprised Eurythmics with her partner Dave Stewart) — will be inducted in one class. Before their RRHOF induction, Lennox and Stewart will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 16 in New York. They were notified of the award in December 2019, but the ceremony was postponed twice because of the pandemic.
“It’s full circle,” the Eurythmics’ Stewart told Billboard after hearing the news before the public announcement. “We never imagined anything, (Lennox) from Scotland and me from Northern England, that we would ever go to America, much less this. We never imagined that would end up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
Ticket information for the 37th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be available soon. The ceremony takes place on Nov. 5 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, with a radio simulcast on SiriusXM’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame radio channel. The event will also air a later date on HBO and stream on HBO Max, which you can sign up for here.