Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2022: Who Should Go In?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame revealed its nominees for the Class of 2022, and at a mind boggling 17 artists, it’s going to be nearly impossible for even the most discerning music fan to whittle it down to the five to seven inductees who will be announced in May.

Ok, deep breath. The nominees are…Beck, Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, Devo, Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Fela Kuti, MC5, New York Dolls, Dolly Parton, Rage Against the Machine, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, A Tribe Called Quest and Dionne Warwick.

To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band has to have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior 2022. Seven of this year’s nominees are on the ballot for the first time; Beck, Duran Duran, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, A Tribe Called Quest and Eminem, who is in his first year of eligibility.

Always beleaguered, from the calls that “it’s not rock and roll with hip hop” and “how can [insert one of dozens of artists] not be in yet,” the Rock Hall will never please everyone during the induction ceremony, which will take place at some point this fall. Still, it’s fun to play along. Let’s be conservative and say that five of the above make it into the hallowed Hall. Here’s Rock Music Menu’s picks for who should go in but probably won’t.


How in the world is Dolly Parton not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Sure, she’s known more for being a country music icon, but these days the singer, songwriter, actress and whatever else she feels like being transcends such simple categorization. Shall the nominating committee – already with egg on their face for not submitting Parton until this year – not put her in, it’s going to make every single qualm mainstream fans have against the Rock Hall that much more true.


At more than half a century going with the twin-guitar attack and Rob Halford’s unmatched shriek leading anthems like “Breaking the Law” and “Painkiller,” it’s no wonder metal fans have been calling it blasphemy for it to take this long for Priest to go into the Hall. Unfortunately, the powers that be have traditionally thumbed their nose at heavy metal. This is the 22nd year of eligibility for the UK legends, but only their third nomination. That speaks volumes.


There’s a bunch of nominees this year from the golden age of MTV, and none were as big during the 80s then Pat Benatar, with videos for “Love is a Battlefield” and “We Belong” in constant rotation. She’s got some stiff competition from the era though, from Eurythmics to Duran Duran, but this might be Benatar’s “best shot.”


Any self-respecting hip hop fan knows it’s a no-brainer to put Tribe on the fast track to Cleveland, where the Rock Hall is unfortunately located. Innovative and influential as they may be though, when it comes to the genre’s token entry for 2022, look for Eminem to be the choice.


Another highly influential act, beloved by artists as diverse as Morrissey to Kiss, the Dolls blend of proto punk and glam rock still resonates. Yet they’re up against the perennially blown off – and equally deserving – MC5, who will likely get the bulk of the votes for guitar-driven rock and roll.

A version of this article appears in this week’s print and online editions of my syndicated Rock Music Menu column under the title “The nominations are in. Who deserves to get the 2022 Rock and Hall of Fame nod?

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