The nominees for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class were announced on Wednesday (Feb. 1) — and unlike last year’s group, which featured mostly previously nominated acts, eight out of the 14 artists featured in the 2023 crop are first-timers, including two in their first year of eligibility.
As has been the increasingly common trend over the last 10 years, the “rock” qualifications of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are becoming increasingly flexible — this year, encompassing rap legends, pop superstars, country icons, R&B hitmakers and artists who are not easily classified under any one specific genre. There are still a handful of more traditionally rock-based acts recognized as well, but none of the Baby Boomer bands that have essentially comprised the Rock Hall’s foundation for most of its 35-plus-year existence.
The artists voted into the Rock Hall last year further suggested that a singular sound and legacy was more critical to induction than down-the-middle rock credentials. Dolly Parton, Eminem, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon and Eurythmics were all granted Rock Hall entry, despite none of them hailing from any traditional rock background. (Even the two most “rock” of the inductees — Duran Duran and Pat Benatar — were early MTV-era stars whose induction would’ve been unimaginable for most of the Rock Hall’s lifetime, as they were afforded little respect from the traditional rock media during their commercial peaks.)
Will the nominees from this year follow a similar path? Let’s break the 14 artists down, from our picks for least likely to most likely to get inducted later this year.
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