2022 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame

Criteria: 2022 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees. Names are in alphabetical order.

(Note: DDD is not affiliated with the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame)

List Begun: 2022-02-03
QUALIFICATIONS (on a scale of 1-10)
10 - The Immortals
9 - Deserves To Be A First Ballot Lock
8 - Should Be Guaranteed An Induction
7 - An Eventual Induction Is Likely
6 - Should Be Nominated At Some Point
5 - Worthy Of At Least A Debate For A Nomination
4 - Not Insignificant, But Shouldn't Be Nominated
3 - No Business Being Debated By Committee
2 - No Business Being Even Mentioned
1 - No Business Visiting The Hall Of Fame Without a Ticket
2021 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees
Six 2022 Nominees banner photo
After years of having to defend their nominations over a troubling lack of diversity The Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame has been trying to make amends of late and not surprisingly have only made matters worse, focusing on just one of the shortcomings - lack of female representation - without dealing with the real issue which has always been the intractable white male power structure of the institution itself.

As they have in the past whenever they attempt to merely put band-aids on their self-inflicted bullet wounds, they've gone far outside of rock styles to address the demographic shortfalls while completely ignoring the many deserving candidates solidly within rock parameters (pre-crossover rock from 1947-1953 as well as funk, disco, dance and rap) who are still waiting for even a single nomination.

This year's ballot is crafted to address the concerns they've chosen to acknowledge but in fact their choices in how to go about it only guarantee the larger problems are never going to be dealt with and solved.
This is the kind of artist who Halls Of Fame were designed to reward, a creative visionary with only sporadic mainstream appeal whose work was nonetheless very influential during his era and whose legacy might otherwise be shortchanged by history when looking at success strictly by hit records and album sales. He could be a big enough name to get in, though with so many voters still far too old to be listening to new music twenty five years ago it's still no sure thing.
Qualifications: 7
The first female on the list is unfortunately representative of the stylistic preferences as opposed to righting legitimate wrongs when it comes to underrepresented areas. Benatar's commercial success places her well below everyone from Mary J. Blige to Aaliyah and though her image as a "tough rock chick" gives her the appearance of someone breaking barriers, in truth that was done decades before as soon as Big Mama Thornton walked into a studio for the first time. Despite this it seems likely that Benatar will get in eventually.
Qualifications: 4
Despite being far more popular in Britain than the United States where she remains a minor act at best, this is Bush's third nomination and while her credentials aren't bad, lots of Top Ten albums and singles in the smaller market of the UK, it is striking that far more successful artists in a much bigger market during the same time such as The Pointer Sisters haven't been nominated even once to say nothing of the likes of Barry White or Maze ft. Frankie Beverly who have never been on the Hall's radar.
Qualifications: 5
After years of trying to deny the existence of synthesizers as an important evolutionary advance in rock and championing organic instruments as "true music", the Hall did a belated about face and began nominating the most prominent bands of the late seventies with synthesizer-based output, although few garnered enough support to get in. They try again with Devo, who were far more singles-oriented than Kraftswerk (who slipped in through the non-voted upon Early Influence category last year after multiple failed attempts on the Main Performer ballot) in the hopes they might break through and shore up this style's representation even more.
Qualifications: 5
The turnaround for a group which was massively popular during their 1980's heyday before being viewed as representative of the perceived vapidness of the MTV generation in the years to follow, now are having their legacy rightfully overhauled by focusing again on the musical accomplishments. Their success alone places them in the upper echelon of this year's ballot and as a group who relied largely on synthesizers it further shows how the Hall is pushing that sound to the forefront at last.
Qualifications: 7
The obvious first ballot inductee, one of the most successful, influential and impactful artists of the last quarter century and someone who will give the surface appearance of the Hall being more welcoming of hip-hop, albeit a white act which doesn't help the Hall's staggering racial disparities any. No matter the voting body's low opinion of the style it'd be impossible to keep him out as few artists were ever more lyrically acclaimed or generated as many headlines as he did while embodying the rebellious punk image that remains a cornerstone of rock since the beginning.
Qualifications: 10
With the slowly building momentum to recognize artists whose sound palettes were built largely on synthesizers comes a duo who were fairly popular and fairly well-respected but never really transcendent. Their hits remain of their time, yet do not define those times and as such while they wouldn't be completely out of place in the Hall, their absence is not more egregious than Rufus and Chaka Khan, Cameo or The Gap Band who are far more deserving contemporaries.
Qualifications: 6
Another area the Hall has perennially been lax when it comes to bestowing credit upon is heavy metal as even among the handful of those who have been inducted many were only tangentially connected to metal. This is a group who helped it get its footing in the 1970's, and brought the style some of its early mainstream recognition in the 1980's and have remained a respected veteran presence on the scene in the years since.
Qualifications: 6
It's admirable the Hall might actually recognize there has been vital rock music made outside of America and Europe over the past seventy plus years and Fela Kuti is one of the most notable artists to come from the African continent, but it's unfortunate this nomination was intended largely to blunt the criticism of ignoring black American artists with even more impressive credentials like Kool And The Gang, Johnny Ace or Eric B. & Rakim.
Qualifications: 6
The sixth nomination for the punk forefathers (and fifth in the last six years) tells you there's a sense of urgency among the older constituency involved to keep offering them up while the voting body still contains people of that age group who have enough cognizant function left to remember the shock and outrage the group caused in the late 1960's. The sand in the hourglass may be running out on an act that has only influence going for them. In other news...Outkast, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, The Fugees and Snoop Dogg have yet to be even nominated despite actually being among the most deserving candidates eligible the last few years.
Qualifications: 6
Another punk entry and a colorful one at that, hardly lacking in name recognition historically, but considering the style as a whole is already far more represented than the much more influential and popular disco which ruled at the same time, this is another example of trying to ensure that a certain cultural perspective is given precedent. That this is their third nomination while Sister Sledge hasn't even gotten one is emblematic of the Hall's overriding worldview of who matters and who doesn't.
Qualifications: 5
How can anyone have anything negative to say about one of the most beloved icons of the last fifty years, an incredible singer, songwriter and guitarist and undoubtedly the classiest person on the ballot? You can't… other than to say that in their attempts to guarantee a female inductee they've nominated a white country star while overlooking female rock acts from LaBelle and En Vogue to Salt-n-Pepa and Missy Elliott. If ever there was a lock, it's Dolly and god bless her, but it's not going to change the bigger crime of who continues to be ignored on the female side of the equation.
Qualifications: 5
The most troubling name on the ballot yet again... not because they don't have the musical credentials to be considered, but because Tom Morello's presence on the nominating committee makes their appearance completely inappropriate for ethical reasons. It's not enough if he merely recused himself when debating their candidacy because who in that room would say no to them? For someone to be so tone deaf to the conflict of interest and abuse of power inherent in this situation after his group spent their entire career championing the politically repressed suggests that their entire legacy is fraudulent.
Qualifications: 6
Here's another example of how the Hall uses sneaky methods to limit demographic changes in the voting body should a candidate make it in. Richie was a successful solo artist but largely veered towards mainstream pop on his own, yet during the 1970's he was a member of The Commodores who were a full-fledged rock group. If Richie gets in alone it will negate any chance the group has since he was their biggest star, and as a result only one black artist will get a vote rather than five. Put the Commodores in and THEN consider Richie's solo work and you remove the charges of voter suppression.
Qualifications: 6
The fifth of six female nominees is another whose music doesn't fall neatly within rock circles, though hers is closer than some others on the ballot. With one enduring hit to her credit and a big name that carries a fair amount of respect, her chances are better than her purely objective credentials would warrant and so an induction would allow the Hall to appear inclusionary without having to address the shameful neglect of more qualified female acts such as Sylvia Robinson, The Marvelettes, TLC and Mary J. Blige.
Qualifications: 5
Finally... an overwhelmingly deserving candidate and one which, if history is any guide, won't get in despite their massive credentials. Forget about the voting body's ongoing neglect of hip-hop as a whole, the fact that they will be compelled to vote for Eminem this year whether they like it or not means it's even more unlikely that they will get remotely considered. Yet few groups in any style were as revered during their time as ATCQ and after having to wait years before even getting a nomination while RATM got multiple opportunities this has the appearance of an ultimately meaningless gesture.
Qualifications: 8
A perfect way to close out the nominees with a big name whose connection to rock is tenuous at best, but who gives the Hall a way to check off two of their criminally neglected areas to sidestep more pointed criticism of their practices. Warwick was a great pop singer in the 60's and 70's but people like Mary Wells and Betty Wright were great rock singers in those decades and as such are far more deserving of consideration.
Qualifications: 5
No doubt is seems that the overview of this year's nominees didn't focus enough on the artists credentials, choosing instead to tout more deserving comparable candidates. A reasonable reaction maybe but one that willfully ignores the larger story behind The Hall's systematic ineptitude which remains the more pressing matter.

The names above all have their career highlights and qualifications laid out in every Rock Hall article but few ever focus on just what those nominations represent in the bigger picture which is only evident when you examine who continually gets left out.

This year they made a concerted effort to bring female acts to the forefront, which is to be commended since they comprise less than 10% of total inductees to date, but rather than focus on the most deserving female rock acts - from Little Esther at the dawn of the 1950's to Erykah Badu who became eligible this year - they've gone instead for names largely from outside rock who have more widespread name recognition, possibly to ensure one or more get elected to deflect criticism or to better guarantee they get headlines for their nod to inclusivity.

But it's not hard to see how shallow their attempts really are. They want the perception of change without tackling the root cause of the problems which is found in the structural organization of the Hall itself.

Despite their moves to ensure a more diverse ballot, the four most deserving candidates this year are all males and the one of whom is unlikely to get in is the only black act among them, thereby almost guaranteeing the end results of their attempts are going to do nothing to change their troubling history. If they'd simply restructured the nominating committee with much younger members made up of an equal number of white, black, male and female participants, the Hall's problems would remedy themselves.

Eminem, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Judas Priest

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