By Mark Kennedy
Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, Kate Bush, Iron Maiden, Cyndi Lauper, Soundgarden, Sheryl Crow and the late George Michael are the 2023 nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, reflecting a mix of country, soul, hip-hop, metal, pop, rap-rock and grunge.
The Cleveland-based institution announced Wednesday the 14 artists and groups being considered for Rock Hall induction, also including Rage Against the Machine, The Spinners, A Tribe Called Quest, The White Stripes, Warren Zevon and Joy Division/New Order.
If Elliott makes it, she would become the first female hip-hop artist in the hall.
“This is an incredible honor. I’m so humbled and grateful to be counted amongst all the incredible honorees. I’ve spent my career making the kind of music I love and it means so much to know that I have touched others as well," she said in a statement.
Artists must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years before they're eligible for induction.
“This remarkable list of nominees reflects the diverse artists and music that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors and celebrates,” said John Sykes, chair of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in a statement. “These artists have created their own sounds that have impacted generations and influenced countless others that have followed in their footsteps.”
Eight out of 14 nominees are on the ballot for the first time, including Crow, Elliott, Joy Division/New Order, Lauper, Michael, Nelson, The White Stripes and Zevon. This is the first year of eligibility for Elliott and The White Stripes. While the late Zevon has been eligible since 1994, Billy Joel led a push for his entry, writing to the nominating committee urging them to consider Zevon.
"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),” Lauper wrote in a statement.
A Tribe Called Quest and Bush were nominees last year and didn't make the cut but now find themselves back in the running this year. Bush's latest nod may be due to a new wave in popularity after the show “Stranger Things” featured her song "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)."
Inductees will be announced in May and the ceremony will take place this fall. Nominees will be voted on by more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry professionals. Fans can vote online or in person at the museum, with the top five artists picked by the public making up a “fans' ballot” that will be tallied with the other professional ballots.
Last year, the nomination process was complicated by Dolly Parton, who gave the honor an enthusiastic embrace after temporarily turning it down. She initially said she did not want to take votes away from the remaining nominees and had not “earned that right.”