Vibe check: It might be time for a name rebrand. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2023 class, with seven inductees making the final cut as performers: Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, George Michael, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine, and the Spinners. Half of the nominees were excluded (Iron Maiden, Joy Division, New Order, Cyndi Lauper, Soundgarden, A Tribe Called Quest, the White Stripes, and Warren Zevon) and can try again as early as next year. The septet of inductees encompasses different eras and genres that have altered the course of rock music, as the Rock Hall has long preached originality, impact, and influence as the biggest factors for consideration. However, this year, its mission statement was altered to define rock and roll more generally as “a spirit that is inclusive and ever-changing” that “celebrates the sound of youth culture.” Crow, Elliott, Michael, and Nelson are being inducted after their very first year on the ballot, while Rage Against the Machine (with the most previous nominations at four) proved that the fifth time was indeed the charm. Bush and the Spinners both had three prior nominations. Don’t worry, Vulture and David Letterman will continue to loudly advocate for Zevon.
In addition to the slate of performers, the Rock Hall is inducting several other names in peripheral categories. DJ Kool and Link Wray are being honored with the Musical Influence Award. Chaka Khan, Al Kooper, and Bernie Taupin will be acknowledged with the Musical Excellence Award for their “dramatic impact on music.” (Khan had been one of the most snubbed artists in the Rock Hall’s history, as she was nominated a whopping seven times prior to 2023 — both as a solo artist and member of Rufus.) And Don Cornelius will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for industry professionals.
The ceremony will take place on November 3 in Brooklyn, where it’s expected to incorporate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and Nelson’s 90th birthday in the festivities. Until then, feel free to tease our anonymous voters for their ballots, and sign up for Vulture’s Zevon Appreciation Society.