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  • Writer's pictureChristine

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame - The 2023 Nominee Class!

It's that time of year again, folks! On February 1st, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2023 nominee class. This year there are 14 nominees. Of those 14, the final inductees will be selected and announced in May. The induction ceremony will be held later this fall.


The process for selecting the inductees works the same as it has in the past. There are two "votes" that take place. First, the fans have an opportunity to vote for the artist(s) that they would like to see inducted. Through April 28th, fans can vote online here, or in person at the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Each person can vote for up to five nominees each day.


After fan voting closes, the top five artists receiving the most fan votes will make up a "fan ballot", that will be tallied with the other ballots. The other ballots are made up of over 1,000 artists, historians and members of the music industry.


According to the Rock Hall of Fame, when considering who to vote for, voters should take into account "an artist's musical impact and influence on other artists, length and depth of career and body of work as well as innovation and superiority in style and technique".


As I do every year, I'm going to take a look at all 14 of this year's nominees. I'll give you some of their background. Who do I think will get in? Keep reading to find out!


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The 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees


Here are the 14 nominees in alphabetical order, and my predictions for each artist.


A Tribe Called Quest

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures


Eligible Since: 2015

Number of Nominations: 2


Why They Should Get In: A Tribe Called Quest were pioneers of the alternative hip-hop genre. The group formed while they were still in high school in Queens in 1985. Within four years, the group had released three albums, which are considered by many to be some of the greatest albums of not only their genre, but of all time.


Will They Get In?: After being nominated for the first time last year, I actually predicted they would get in. Clearly, I was wrong. However, I think if the HOF thinks enough of them to nominate them two years in a row, that's saying something. I think they get in this year.


Kate Bush

Photo Credit: Clive Arrowsmith


Eligible Since: 2004

Number of Nominations: 4


Why She Should Get In: Kate Bush's debut single - "Wuthering Heights" - made her an overnight sensation. Bush was the first female artist to reach number one on the UK charts with a self-written song. After taking a 12 year hiatus, Bush released her critically acclaimed double album - "Aerial" - in 2005. And in 2022, the use of her song "Running Up That Hill" on the Netflix series "Stranger Things", developed a whole new generation of fans.


Will She Get In?: I personally love Kate Bush. But I've said it now for three years in a row... I just don't think she's HOF material. But, the HOF clearly wants her in based solely on the number of times she's been nominated. I still predict a no for Bush, though.


Sheryl Crow

Photo Credit: Discogs


Eligible Since: 2019

Number of Nominations: 1


Why She Should Get In: Sheryl Crow's big break came in 1987, when she was a back-up singer on Michael Jackson's "Bad" tour. Following the tour, Crow became a session singer who was in high demand by all the big artists. She also started writing songs for artists like Celine Dion and Tina Turner. Crow released her debut album - "Tuesday Night Music Club" - in 1993, and it was a smash hit. The album also earned Crow nine Grammy's. Throughout her career, Crow has continued to release music that is both commercially and critically successful.


Will She Get In?: Crow is an amazing singer and songwriter. However, I just don't see her getting in the first time she's nominated.


Missy Elliott

Photo Credit: ELLE


Eligible Since: 2023

Number of Nominations: 1


Why She Should Get In: Before she became a star herself, Missy Elliott was an in-demand songwriter and producer, and had founded her own record label. Elliott's debut album in 1997 - "Supa Dupa Fly" - established her own sound and solidified her as a star. Not only is Elliott a talented artist, she also forged a path for women in a male-dominated genre of music.


Will She Get In?: This one is tough. It's so hard for artists to get in during their first year of eligibility. Elliott is the true definition of the criteria the HOF asks voters to consider. But, I think there are too many other artists nominated this year that have been overlooked too many times. She'll get in, but not this year.


Iron Maiden

Photo Credit: Loudwire


Eligible Since: 2005

Number of Nominations: 2


Why They Should Get In: Iron Maiden formed in 1975 and set the stage for what heavy metal bands should sound like and look like. After changing out several members, the band stabilized and released their debut album - "Iron Maiden" - in 1980. They were the first heavy metal band to be played on MTV, which gained them an entirely new audience. Over their career, they've sold over 100 million albums and have inspired bands like Metallica.


Will They Get In?: I'm not a fan of Iron Maiden or heavy metal in general, but this band deserves to be in. They were the groundbreakers for their genre and have inspired countless other artists. This year is their turn.


Joy Division/New Order

Photo Credit: Rock Hall of Fame


Eligible Since: 2004

Number of Nominations: 1


Why They Should Get In: Joy Division was formed in 1976 and were one of the first bands to be called "goth rock". Tragically in 1980, founding member Ian Curtis passed away just days before the band was due to start a U.S. tour. Rather than break up, the band transformed into a new band called New Order. Inspired by artists such as Kraftwerk, they started using synthesizers and created a new synth-pop sound. The band has inspired artists such as U2, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails and The Killers.


Will They Get In?: This one is a little tricky for a couple of reasons. First, I get that most of the members are the same, but this is two different bands with two different bodies of work (although Joy Division's are limited due to their short existence). Second, I really love New Order. But, I just don't see them getting in the first time they are nominated, so I'm going to say no on this one.


Cyndi Lauper

Photo Credit: Spotify


Eligible Since: 2009

Number of Nominations: 1


Why She Should Get In: Cyndi Lauper released her debut album - "She's So Unusual" - in 1983, and it produced a record-breaking four consecutive top five singles. The name of the album perfectly describes Lauper. Not only was her music and voice unique, but so was her style and personality. As an artist that "grew up" on MTV where image was everything, Lauper established her own style that everyone wanted to emulate. As her career went on, Lauper continued to evolve, including becoming the first solo woman to win a Tony Award for best score for the show "Kinky Boots". Lauper has influenced artists such as Pink, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj.


Will She Get In?: Cyndi Lauper is an icon, and her career and influence transcend pop music. While I think it's typically tough for a first time nominee to get in, I think Lauper does it.


George Michael

Photo Credit: The Scotsman


Eligible Since: 2010

Number of Nominations: 1


Why He Should Get In: In 1981, George Michael formed the duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgley. After having huge success, Michael decided to branch out into a solo career, which ended up being even more successful than Wham! He released his solo debut album - "Faith" - in 1987, and it was a massive hit. Michael was the most played artist on British radio from 1984 to 2004, and he is one of the best selling artists of all time. In addition, Michael paved the way for other LGTBQ artists such as Sam Smith and Lil Nas X. His untimely death cut short an amazing musical career.


Will He Get In?: In my opinion, George Michael deserves to be in the HOF someday based on his commercial success alone. But while I think it will happen, I don't think it will happen on his first nomination.


Willie Nelson

Photo Credit: Variety


Eligible Since: 1983

Number of Nominations: 1


Why He Should Be In: Willie Nelson has been in the music industry for over six decades. He is a legend. And while he may primarily be a country music artist, he has done a little bit of everything. Nelson started his career by writing hit songs for other artists. He released his first album in 1962, and has released a total of 73 albums over his career. Nelson has inspired too many artists to count. Additionally, he is a co-founder of Farm Aid and has worked to advocate for countless other causes.


Will He Get In?: I think the more relevant question here is why is this the first time he's been nominated? I mean, I get the whole "it's the ROCK Hall of Fame" thing, but without them changing the name, we all know it's really the MUSIC Hall of Fame. Last year was Dolly's year. This year is Willie's. If he doesn't get in, there is something seriously wrong with the process.


Rage Against The Machine

Photo Credit: Spin


Eligible Since: 2018

Number of Nominations: 5


Why They Should Get In: RATM formed in 1991. From the release of their debut album - "Rage Against The Machine" - in 1992, the band had something powerful to say. With a unique sound that combined hip-hop, punk, metal, funk and rock, they used their lyrics to get across messages to inspire their fans to question the status quo and power.


Will They Get In?: This is another band that the HOF clearly believes deserves to be in based on them being nominated year after year. I predicted they would not in both 2021 and 2022, and I was right. I predict that this will be the year, particularly after their resurgence after touring last year.


Soundgarden

Photo Credit: Ultimate Classic Rock


Eligible Since: 2012

Number of Nominations: 2


Why They Should Be In: Formed in 1984, Soundgarden was one of the original bands to start the grunge movement and pave the way for other bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Their 1989 album - "Louder Than Love" - made them the first band from the grunge scene to release a record on a major label. While they disbanded in 1997, they got back together in 2010 and remained together until Chris Cornell's passing in 2017.


Will They Get In?: This is so hard, because they really did pave the way for the grunge movement. However, I don't think their overall body of work puts them in.


The Spinners

Photo Credit: Classic Motown


Eligible Since: 1987

Number of Nominations: 4


Why They Should Be In: The Spinners started out their career in Detroit. They released their debut single in 1961 and made a name for themselves in Motown. By the early 1970's, Aretha Franklin encouraged them to move to Atlantic Records, where they teamed up Philadelphia producer-songwriter, Thom Bell. They proceeded to become a hit making machine, including a number of crossover hits through the disco era. The Spinners continue to make music, including their most recent album - "'Round The Block And Back Again" - which was released in 2021.


Will They Get In?: Despite all of their hits and longevity, in my opinion The Spinners don't have the same level of influence as some of the other Motown greats. Maybe someday, but they just aren't strong enough with this year's list of nominees.


The White Stripes

Photo Credit: NME


Eligible Since: 2023

Number of Nominations: 1


Why They Should Be In: The White Stripes were formed in Detroit in 1997. The band first had commercial success in 2002, when they did a major label re-release of their album "White Blood Cells". After several more albums, Meg White revealed in 2007 that she suffered from acute anxiety that prevented her from performing live. They performed for the last time on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and officially broke up in 2011.


Will They Get In?: I have to be honest. I don't get this one at all. In my opinion, The White Stripes are not a HOF caliber band. I really don't understand why they are nominated their first year of eligibility. Maybe this is more a nod to Jack White, who is amazingly talented. If so, wait until he's eligible as a solo artist and nominate him. This is a big no for me.


Warren Zevon

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Eligible Since: 1995

Number of Nominations: 1


Why He Should Get In: Warren Zevon was trained as a classical pianist. He began his career in the 1960s writing commercial jingles and songs for other artists. Zevon then moved on to being a session singer, before releasing his debut album - "Warren Zevon" - in 1976. The album was praised by critics and other artists alike. After releasing more than a dozen albums, Zevon was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002. Before passing away, he spent the last few months of his life working on his final album - "The Wind" - which was released in 2003.


Will He Get In?: Another tough one! Frankly, I'm amazed that it's taken this long for him to be nominated. While he never had the commercial success some of the other nominees had, his impact on music and his talent transcends so many on this list. But, while the HOF is not supposed to be a popularity contest, it sometimes feels that way. So, I'm going to predict a no for Zevon - not because I don't think he deserves it, but because I don't think he'll get in this time.


So that's my take on the Rock Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Nominees! To summarize, my picks are: A Tribe Called Quest, Iron Maiden, Cyndi Lauper, Willie Nelson and Rage Against The Machine. As always, it's tough to narrow it down to just five. Will I be right? We'll find out in May!


Who are your Rock Hall of Fame favorites? Who do you think should be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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