Nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2023 have been announced.
This year’s list includes eight first-time nominees: Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, Joy Division/New Order, Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, Willie Nelson, the White Stripes and Warren Zevon. Returning nominees Kate Bush, Iron Maiden, Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden, the Spinners and A Tribe Called Quest also made the list.
To be eligible for the Rock Hall, an artist’s first commercial recording needs to be released at least 25 years before the year of their nomination. (This year’s list includes two newly eligible acts, Elliott and the White Stripes.) Voting is done by a group of more than 1,000 artists, historians and various members of the music industry.
Inductees will be announced in May, along with the date and location of the induction ceremony. Beginning today, fans can also cast their votes at the Rock Hall website.
In recent years, the Rock Hall has garnered criticism for nominating acts that appear to fall outside the rock genre, including LL Cool J, Eminem, Lionel Richie and Dolly Parton from recent years.
“If you look at the nominating committee, it has evolved over the years, and they are expressing a broad range of influences and backgrounds,” Rock Hall President and CEO Greg Harris said to Variety in 2020. “It’s a lot healthier than casual fans would think. It’s a very robust and thoughtful group that represents many viewpoints, with people being added all the time, bringing in new perspectives from all eras, genres, races and lifestyle.”
Earlier this week, at an online press event, the organization shared a new mission statement, purportedly designed to address the criticism of the recent nominees: “Born from the collision of rhythm & blues, country and gospel, rock ‘n’ roll is a spirit that is inclusive and ever-changing. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrates the sound of youth culture and honors the artists whose music connects us all.”
The Rock Hall nominee ballot has struggled over the years to include more artists of color, as well as women. In 2020, less than 8% of inductees were women, but in 2021, the Rock Hall offered its most female-centric ballot, which included seven women on the list. (This year’s ballot includes four solo female artists, plus Meg White of the White Stripes and Gillian Gilbert of New Order.)
In 2022, Alanis Morissette, who was reported to be a performer at the induction ceremony, chose not to attend for related reasons. “Thankfully, I am at a point in my life where there is no need for me to spend time in an environment that reduces women,” she said at the time. “I have had countless incredible experiences with production teams with all genders throughout my life. So many, and so fun. There is nothing better than a team of diverse people coming together with one mission.”
137 Artists Not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Many have shared their thoughts on possible induction.