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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Rage Against the Machine, Missy Elliott, Kate Bush, and Willie Nelson Lead Class of 2023

Sheryl Crow, George Michael and the Spinners were also inducted in the Performer category
rock and roll hall of fame
(Credit: The Gap via Getty Images, Sony Music Archive via Getty Images/Mark Baker, ZIK Images/United Archives via Getty Images)

The fifth time is the charm for Rage Against the Machine, while Willie Nelson, George Michael, Missy Elliott, and Sheryl Crow all made the cut in their first year of eligibility for enshrinement as part of the 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of inductees, announced this morning (May 3).

The star-studded performing class also includes Kate Bush, who has enjoyed newfound fame in the past several years with a key song placement in Stranger Things, as well as Detroit R&B legends the Spinners.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, genre pioneer DJ Kool Herc and the late influential guitarist Link Wray will be inducted as Musical Influence Award winners. R&B star Chaka Khan, Bob Dylan sideman Al Kooper, and Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin are the recipients of the Musical Excellence Award. Soul Train creator Don Cornelius will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

The induction ceremony will take place on Nov. 3 in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the Barclays Center.

“This year’s incredible group of Inductees reflects the diverse artists and sounds that define rock & roll,” says John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “We are honored that this November’s Induction Ceremony in New York will coincide with two milestones in music culture; the 90th birthday of Willie Nelson and the 50th Anniversary of the birth of hip-hop.”

Among the artists who were nominated but not selected this year are Iron Maiden, Soundgarden, Joy Division/New Order, Cyndi Lauper, A Tribe Called Quest, the White Stripes, and Warren Zevon. Click here to read SPIN‘s earlier analysis of the nominated acts.

This year’s inductees will extend the debate on what actually constitutes a rock artist, as Elliott and A Tribe Called Quest are two of the more beloved hip-hop acts of the past 30 years and Nelson is arguably the most legendary country musician of all time. Likewise, the Spinners have never notched a song on any Billboard rock chart, although they have more than 20 top 40 hits on the R&B tally.

The 2022 Rock Hall class of Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Carly Simon, Eminem, and Eurythmics was enshrined last November in Los Angeles. Honorary awards were given to Judas Priest, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Elizabeth Cotten, and Jimmy Iovine, among others.