Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram

Most Anticipated 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

Rosemary Giles
Photo Credits: Gie Knaeps/ Getty Images/ Cropped, SGranitz/ WireImage/ Getty Images/ Cropped, and Michael Putland/ Getty Images/ Cropped
Photo Credits: Gie Knaeps/ Getty Images/ Cropped, SGranitz/ WireImage/ Getty Images/ Cropped, and Michael Putland/ Getty Images/ Cropped

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame appointed its first group of inductees in 1986. Amongst them were Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Elvis Presley. In the years that followed, numerous well-known musicians have earned their place among these legends, as will a select few of the 2023 nominees. Here are eight artists from the current roster that fans are particularly thrilled about.

Kate Bush

This is certainly not the first time that Kate Bush has been nominated, but this year might be different. She shot back onto the charts after her song “Running Up That Hill” became popularized by its use in the TV show Stranger ThingsMany fans are thrilled to see her being recognized for her fame, while others feel like she shouldn’t be nominated or inducted due to any single song.

Kate Bush seated in a chair with her arms around her knees.
Kate Bush posing for a photograph in London, England, 1980. (Photo Credit: Brian Rasic/ Getty Images)

Rather, they think that she should have been inducted years ago. This is understandable, as Bush’s music has been extremely well-received since it first came out. At only 19 she released her debut “Wuthering Heights,” which hit number one on the UK charts – the first female artist to do so with a song she wrote. Throughout her career, she has released 25 songs that made it into the UK Top 40.

George Michael

George Michael first became popular while performing alongside his friend Andrew Ridgeley in the pop duo Wham! in the 1980s. He soon decided to make his way in music on his own and the pair split, leaving Michael the time to create his own albums. His first, Faith, was released in 1987 and was an incredible success, as were the albums and songs that he produced in the following years.

George Michael singing into a microphone while wearing an all black suit.
George Michael performs at Palais Garnier in Paris, France, September 9, 2012. (Photo Credit: David Wolff – Patrick/ Redferns/ Getty Images)

Between 1984 and 2004, he was the most-played artist on UK radio. Although he died at only 53 years old in 2016, his music remains very popular, as can be seen by his nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Representatives for his estate commented on the nomination, saying, “Along with the many accolades he received throughout his career, we know he would have been honoured to be included amongst this year’s extraordinary group of talented musicians.”

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper is certainly a unique musical figure, dabbling in rock, funk, reggae, dance, and pop music over her long career. Not only has she sung some iconic songs like “True Colors” and an iconic cover of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” but she created the soundtrack for The Goonies movie and composed the musical Kinky Boots. In total, she’s sold over 50 million records throughout the world.

Cyndi Lauper wearing a jean vest, with tulle wrapped around her red hair.
Portrait of Cyndi Lauper taken in a Tokyo hotel room, March 1984. (Photo Credit: Koh Hasebe/ Shinko Music/ Getty Images)

Her music and style have also influenced others in the rock world, including well-known current performers like P!nk, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj. Despite her popularity, this is Lauper’s first time being nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Some wonder whether she’s truly an iconic enough figure to be inducted her first time around, especially given the diverse genres of her music.

Missy Elliott

This was the first year that Missy Elliott was eligible for nomination, which is quite a feat. What’s even more impressive is that she’s the first female hip-hop artist to ever be nominated. She began as part of the group Sista before starting her solo career. She was instantly successful with her album Supa Dupa Fly and the hit song “Sock It 2 Me.” It came in third on the Billboard 200, the highest a female rapper had ever reached at the time of release.

Missy Elliott posed in a convertible in Miami, circa 2002
American rapper Missy Elliott in December, 2002 in Miami, Florida. (Photo Credit: Gregory Bojorquez/Getty Images)

Her popularity didn’t slow down, and she was soon dubbed the “Queen of Rap.” In response to news of her nomination, Elliott said, “This is an incredible honor. I’m so humbled and grateful to be counted amongst all the incredible honorees. I’ve spent my career making the kind of music I love and it means so much to know that I have touched others as well.” Although she’s successful, some doubt whether Elliott will be inducted as her music falls outside of the typical rock genre.

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow got her start in music as a backup singer for Michael Jackson in 1987. From there she went on to write songs for numerous well-known artists like Tina Turner, Celine Dion, and Wynonna Judd. It wasn’t until 1993 that she released an album of her own, Tuesday Night Music Club. It was instantly successful, winning her three Grammys. In the years that followed she produced many more albums and collaborated with some of the biggest names in music.

Sheryl Crow performing on stage with a guitar.
Sheryl Crow performing at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, March 17, 1995. (Photo Credit: David Corio/ Michael Ochs Archives/ Getty Images)

Nominated for 32 Grammys, she won on nine occasions. She recently declared that her 2019 release Threads would be her final album. Crow was incredibly excited by the news of her nomination, tweeting, “I am BLOWN AWAY (…) It really means so much to me. Thank for your support, and for being a part of the voting process! Love you all!” Although this is her first time being considered, odds are she will be inducted.

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden is one of the most controversial nominees for 2023 as they are not, technically speaking, a rock and roll band. Rather, they’re an English heavy metal band. Formed in 1975, the group consists of songwriter Steve Harris, singer Bruce Dickinson, drummer Nicko McBrain, with Adrian Smith, Janick Gers, and Dave Murray on guitar. They certainly have an impressive history of music.

Portrait of Iron Maiden all wearing leather jackets and jeans.
Group portrait of Iron Maiden, 1982. (Photo Credit: Michael Putland/ Getty Images)

Throughout their career the band has released 41 albums, 13 live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations – along with 47 other singles. Despite falling outside the rock genre, Greg Harris, the president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said, “Maiden was nominated once before, but we’re hopeful that after the success that Judas Priest [had] last year that Maiden is inducted as well (…) We’re thrilled that they’re on the ballot.”

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is a veteran of the music industry, having joined his first band when he was only 10 years old. He’s now been performing for over 60 years, earning himself quite the reputation. Although he’s most commonly associated with country music, he frequently mixes in elements of rock and roll, pop, and jazz. Nelson released his first album in 1962, with dozens more to follow throughout the rest of his career.

Willie Nelson playing a guitar with his har in two braids.
Willie Nelson performing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, April 23, 1999. (Photo Credit: Clayton Call/ Redferns/ Getty Images)

Having worked in the industry for so long, it’s no wonder that he’s collaborated with many famous artists including Snoop Dogg, Bob Dylan, and fellow nominee Sheryl Crow. He also formed the country music supergroup The Highwaymen with Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. Whether he’ll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is another matter, although his advanced age may sway votes in his favor.

Rage Against the Machine

Nominated several times in the past, Rage Against the Machine is once again getting a shot at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Although their music leans more towards hip hop, punk, metal, and funk, their message of shaking up the status quo is pure rock and roll. They were also ranked number 33 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, making them a perfect fit for the nomination.

Studio portrait of Rage Against the Machine.
Studio portrait of Rage Against The Machine, 1999. (Photo Credit: Brian Rasic/ Getty Images)

The band formed in 1991, releasing their first album Rage Against the Machine in 1992. It was well received by critics and the public, as were their subsequent releases. Throughout their career, they released over 16 million records internationally.

More from us: Jerry Lee Lewis Tribute at CMAs Enrages Many: ‘That Was Gross’

Although they took a break from performing in 2011, they announced that they would again go on tour in 2019, a promise that was postponed due to COVID-19.

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.