“I have to admit I’m completely shocked at the news of being inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Kate Bush of her forthcoming induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Nov. 3, 2023.
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Bush, along with Willie Nelson, Chaka Khan, George Michael, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, Rage Against the Machine, and The Spinners are among some of the other artists who were revealed as the 2023 inductees in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on May 3.
“It’s something I just never thought would happen,” added Bush. “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 honor. Now as part of the initiation ceremony, I get to find out about the secret handshake. There is one, right?”
In a brief statement on social media, Willie Nelson said: “Honored to be announced as a 2023 [Rock & Roll Hall of Fame] inductee—among great company.”
For the R&B group The Spinners, who formed in Detroit in 1954, the fourth time was the charm. After being nominated four times for induction into the Rock Hall, the group finally made it into the class of 2023.
“This has been a lifelong dream I never imagined back in Ferndale when we all started in 1954, that we’d be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” said Henry Fambrough, 84, the sole surviving founding member of The Spinners, in a statement. “I do wish my original guys were around to celebrate this with me, but I’m happy to share this with my current bandmates CJ, Jessie, Ronnie, and Marvin. We’re so grateful for this acknowledgment. I really believe that everything happens in succession, at the right time.”
As a “defense mechanism,” Sheryl Crow said she was bracing herself to not get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame before her manager, Scooter Weintraub, called her with the news.
“I’ve just always been so in the journey that, getting to this point, it’s hard for me to even relate to the fact that I’ve been doing it now for over 30 years,” said Crow. “It doesn’t seem like that long. I feel like my best work is in front of me. For him [Weintraub] though, I think he has just felt like I deserved it, and he’s put in so much love and emotion and hard work into my career that I’m happy for him.”
Growing up as rock and roll history was still being written, Crow said her first concert was Peter Frampton and she also saw Ted Nugent, Journey, Foreigner, and Supertramp. “The first woman I ever saw play rock guitar was Bonnie Raitt,” shared Crow. “I saw Fleetwood Mac, I saw Stevie Nicks, I saw Joe Walsh, I saw The Eagles. I saw the Rolling Stones numerous times, and so all those people, for me, that was the documentary as it was happening.”
Crow added, “It’s a funny thing being inducted into the Rock Hall now because I feel like the people that wrote the book on rock and roll got in so many years ago. I’m just happy to even be in the same reference book as those guys.”
In a lengthy statement shared on social media, Rage Against the Machine‘s Zack de la Rocha, Tim Commerford, Tom Morello, and Brad Wilk, said they were surprised by their induction.
“It is a surprising trajectory for us to be welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said the band in their post. “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. A band who is as well known for our albums as we are for our fierce opposition to the US war machine, white supremacy, and exploitation. A band whose songs drove alternative radio to new heights while right-wing media companies tried to purge every song we wrote from the airwaves. A band who shut down the NY Stock Exchange for the first time in its history.”
The band continued documenting their social and politically driven musical journey. “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,” their statement added. “A band who sued the US State Department for their fascist practice of using our music to torture innocent men at Guantanamo Bay. 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 of its own.”
By the end of their post, the band expressed gratefulness for the recognition. “Many thanks to the Hall of Fame for recognizing the music and mission of Rage Against The Machine,” they said. “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.”
Rapper Missy Elliott, who was the only artist who was eligible for induction for the first time in 2023, is grateful for her nomination and what it means for women in hip-hop.
“I want to say this is huge, not for just me but all my sisters in hip-hop,” said Elliott. “This door is now open to showcase the hard work that many of us women contribute to music. I have cried all day because I am grateful. Thank you [Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’ all on the committee and supafriends. I love you.”
Elliott added, “I want to say I love you and congratulations to all the other legendary artists who will now be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They have committed decades of hard work and impact in music. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world.”
George Michael, who died in 2016, is also being posthumously inducted in the Performer category. Michael recently topped the fan voting ballot, which wrapped up on Friday (April 28), with more than one million (1,040,072) votes.
Along with the core seven artists being inducted into the Performer category, DJ Kool Herc and
Link Wray are also being honored with a Musical Influence Award, along with Chaka Khan, Bernie Taupin, and Al Kooper, who will receive the Music Excellence Award, while the Ahmet Ertegun Award will go to the late producer and Soul Train pioneer Don Cornelius.
Photo by Amy Sussman/WireImage