It’s cool, man. In the lead-up to announcing the shortlist for its 2023 induction class, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has revised its mission statement to be more interpretive of the concept of rock music. Greg Harris, president and CEO of the Rock Hall, revealed this change during a January 30 press conference, signaling that subsequent eligibility requirements for induction, as well as general representation at the museum in Cleveland, will no longer be dictated by the (very white, very male-dominant) golden age of classic rock.
“Born from the collision of rhythm and blues, country, and gospel, rock and roll is a spirit that is inclusive and ever-changing,” reads the new mission, which now “celebrates the sound of youth culture and honors the artists whose music connects us all.” The “youth culture” verbiage is a direct callback to the Rock Hall’s response to last year’s Dolly Parton debacle, during which it argued she was worthy of being inducted despite her belief that she wasn’t a rock artist. (Parton ended up accepting and attending her ceremony in grand style.) “Music connects us all,” meanwhile, seems to function as a blanket statement of universal popularity and would work in favor of artists such as Lionel Richie, whose recent induction put many critics in a grousing mood. The 2023 shortlist will be unveiled on February 1 and, with these changes, is bound to be the most bonkers one thus far.