Put an end to the privilege of the white male rocker. Among the newest class of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honorees, white male rockers are finally the minority.
In 2023, they’re barely represented after years in which they made up the majority of rock hall recipients. Even Rage Against the Machine, the lone rock band to be inducted, is a multicultural act that scarcely matches the established culture that has dominated the RRHOF for decades.
Nominees this year
This year, nominees like Sound garden, the White Stripes, Iron Maiden, Warren Zevon, and the new-wave mash-up of Joy Division and New Order all felt more like the usual suspects.
Instead, there is a new ranking with three women at the top, Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, and Missy Elliott, who represent genres from hip-hop to alt-rock. George Michael, a gay pop sensation, Willie Nelson, a country music legend, and The Spinners, a black R&B vocal trio, make out the class of 2023 honorees.
Michael’s induction, which comes seven years after the “Faith” singer passed away at age 53, is the most recent posthumous honor to be given out in recent years, joining those given to Whitney Houston, the Notorious B.I.G., Nina Simone, and Tupac Shakur.
Nelson who turns 90,amongst the nominees
Nelson, who turned 90 last Saturday, deserves his flowers while he can still smell them, so it’s wonderful to see. In addition, upon Dolly Parton’s induction,
The Spinners are most likely this year’s inductees’ biggest surprise. The Philly Sound was best exemplified by their long list of 1970s R&B singles, which included “I’ll Be Around,” “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” “Mighty Love,” “Sadie,” and “The Rubberband Man.”
And it’s nice to see Bush finally receive her due on her fourth nomination, propelled by the “Stranger Things”-driven popularity of “Running Up That Hill”. However, it wasn’t the year for all the girls to enjoy themselves: Remember Cyndi Lauper, who was overlooked for her first nomination.
And although the imaginative Elliott is appropriately representing hip-hop, the venerable New York rap group A Tribe Called Quest missed the mark.
Meanwhile, when the induction ceremony takes place on Nov. 3 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre, funk queen Chaka Khan—who, between her recordings with Rufus and her solo work, should have been inducted a long time ago—will at least be receiving the Musical Excellence Award.