The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has announced its 2022 chapter, which represents what the foundation’s president and CEO says is one of the most diverse recruiting groups they’ve ever seen.
The Hall of 2022 category is represented by 11 artists, producers, and three unrepresented industry professionals who will each enter the hall during festivities scheduled for this fall in Los Angeles.
Seven introductory artists will be seen in the artist category, including ’80s builders Pat Benatar (with husband Neil Giraldo), Duran Duran, Eurythmics and Lionel Richie. Singer-songwriter Carly Simon will be hired, along with pop and bluegrass artist Dolly Parton, despite her request that her name be withdrawn for consideration. 15-time Grammy-winning rapper and producer Eminem will witness induction during his first year of eligibility.
Artists become eligible for a rock hall nomination 25 years after the release of their first record. In addition to Eminem, Duran Duran, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, and Carly Simon were nominated for the first time this year.
Among the artists inducted into the Musical Excellence category are metal band Judas Priest and music producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, known for their work with 2019 recruiter Janet Jackson.
Blues artist and folklorist Elizabeth Cotton will be inducted into the hall posthumously with the Early Impact Award, along with singer-songwriter Harry Belafonte.
Entertainment attorney Allen Grobman, known for making groundbreaking deals for Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, and Lady Gaga, among many others, will be inducted with the Ahmet Ertegun Award, along with recording engineer and co-founder of Interscope Records Jimmy Yovin, and the late singer, producer and CEO Sylvia Robinson.
Votes are cast by a panel of more than 1,000 artists, including recruiters, industry members, and music historians. Factors considered include the artist’s influence, the length and depth of his career and their innovation in style and technique.
During an interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president and CEO Greg Harris, he told The Maine Edge that he was pleased to see Dolly Parton selected for induction by the voting body despite her early concerns that she did not deserve the honor.
“One of the reasons we love Dolly so much is her modesty,” Harris said. “Her early statement was a real sign of that when she basically said ‘I’m not worthy, give it to someone else.’ She is worthy and the voters think so too.”
I asked Harris if he could explain why Judas Priest had entered the nominees for the third time in the Music Excellence category while most of the other artists in this year’s category would be entered into the Performer category.
“To be clear, they are all equal and all in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Harris said diplomatically. “There is a committee that looks at the artists and they decide that this is the right path for Judas Priest. Some of the artists who were nominated multiple times ended up being recruited in this way, like Kraftwerk, LL Cool J and Nile Rodgers.”
The 37th Annual Rock and Roll Induction Party is scheduled to take place on November 5 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Some past festivities have featured some epic one-on-one co-ops on stage during the gala concert. Harris cited some of his personal favorites from years past.
“The first thing that comes to mind is when Prince came out to join Tom Petty, Jeff Lane of the Electric Light Orchestra, and Steve Winwood, in homage to George Harrison in an amazing version of ‘While My Guitar Gently Gently Weeps,’” she said. Stevie Wonder played and John Legend sang. Last year we had Foo Fighters back Paul McCartney on Get Back, which was off the charts.”
Harris referred to the exclusive Rock Hall moments as an “embarrassment to get rich” and added, “I think we’ll see a lot more of them with this year’s class. Almost everyone is still actively performing, so this performance might be age-appropriate.”
Speaking of “The Return,” Harris was also excited about the latest rock and roll Hall of Fame exhibit, which has been described as an immersive counterpoint to Peter Jackson’s “The Beatles: Return” Dooku series.
Harris said of the exhibition “The Beatles: Go back to so be it.”
“You go into the studio with the Beatles and you go up on the roof of the Apple building for this signature performance that became their last live show. We have the guitar that John Lennon was playing at that very moment. We have the Ringo drum set and the red raincoat he was wearing. We had Beatles fans from all over the world are here in Cleveland to see this show. It will be here all summer long, so we hope to see all the Beatles fans from Maine here check it out.”