Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha, Missy Elliott
Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha, Missy Elliott | Photos by Chris Walter/WireImage, Theo Wargo + Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 Includes Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine and Missy Elliott

Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Missy Elliott and George Michael are among the artists who will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year as part of its Class of 2023. Other inductees in the performance category include Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson and the Spinners.

In addition, Chaka Khan, Al Kooper and songwriter Bernie Taupin – a longtime Elton John collaborator – will receive the Musical Excellence Award. Hip-hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc and guitarist Link Wray will receive the Musical Influence Award, while Soul Train creator Don Cornelius will be posthumously given the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

This year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on Friday, 3rd November. In a statement, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation Chairman John Sykes said this year’s inductee list “reflects the diverse artists and sounds that define rock’n’roll.”

With her induction, Missy Elliott has become the first female rapper to be included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Responding to the news on Twitter, she wrote: “I want to say this is huge not just for me but all my sisters in hiphop. This door is now open to showcase the hard work & what many of us contribute to music.” Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson both said they were “honored” to be included among the inductees.

Reacting to the news with a statement on her website, Kate Bush said she was “completely shocked” at the news of her induction. “It’s something I just never thought would happen,” she wrote. “Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. It means a great deal that you would think of me. It’s such a huge honour. Now as part of the initiation ceremony I get to find out about the secret handshake… there is one, right?”

Rage Against the Machine shared a much lengthier statement on Instagram, reflecting on the “surprising trajectory” that led them to being a part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. “In 1991 four people in Los Angeles formed a musical group to stand where sound and solidarity intersect. We called ourselves Rage Against the Machine,” they wrote.

The band went on to describe their history of fusing their music with political action – taking “alternative radio to new heights” while maintaining their “fierce opposition to the US war machine, white supremacy and exploitation.”

“A band who shut down the NY Stock Exchange for the first time in its history. A band who was targeted by police organizations who attempted to ban us from sold out arenas for raising our voices to free Mumia Abu Jamal, Leonard Peltier and other political prisoners. A band who sued the US State Department for their fascist practice of using our music to torture innocent men in Guantanamo Bay,” they continued.

“A band who wrote rebel songs in an abandoned, industrial warehouse in the valley that would later dethrone Simon Cowell’s X Factor pop monopoly to occupy the number 1 spot on the UK charts and have the most downloaded song in UK history. A band who funded and organized delegations to stand with Mexican rebel Zapatista communities to expose the Mexican government’s war on indigenous people. A band whose experimentation in fusing punk, rock and hip hop became a genre on its own.

“Many thanks to the Hall of Fame for recognizing the music and the mission of Rage Against the Machine. We are grateful to all of the passionate fans, the many talented co-conspirators we’ve worked with and all the activists, organizers, rebels and revolutionaries past, present and future who have inspired our art.”

Sheryl Crow, George Michael, Missy Elliott and Willie Nelson were all first-time nominees, while Kate Bush and the Spinners were nominated for a fourth time and Rage Against the Machine were successful on their fifth attempt. Artists who were nominated for the Rock Hall this year but did not make the final cut were A Tribe Called Quest, Cyndi Lauper, Iron Maiden, Joy Division and New Order, Soundgarden, Warren Zevon and the White Stripes.

Last year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class included included Dolly Parton, Eminem, Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon and Eurythmics.

Further Reading

Dolly Parton, Eminem, Lionel Richie, Judas Priest and More Inducted Into Rock Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022

“Don’t Deny Who You Are In What You Do” – Tom Morello On Riffs, Protest Music & The Future Of The Electric Guitar

Kate Bush Gives Rare Interview Following ‘Running Up That Hill’ Resurgence

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