Despite a last-minute plea to “respectfully bow out” of contention for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the country singer Dolly Parton made it in anyway, joining a musically diverse array of inductees for 2022 that also includes Eminem, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Eurythmics, Duran Duran and Pat Benatar.
The honorees — voted on by greater than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry professionals — “each had a profound impact on the sound of youth culture and helped change the course of rock ’n’ roll,” said John Sykes, the chairman of the Rock Hall, in a press release.
Parton, 76, had said in March that she was “extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated” but didn’t feel that she had “earned that right” to be recognized as a rock artist on the expense of others. Ballots, nevertheless, had already been sent to voters, and the hall said they’d remain unchanged, noting that the organization was “not defined by anybody genre” and had deep roots in country and rhythm and blues.
In an interview with NPR last week, Parton said she would accept her induction in any case, should it come to pass. “It was all the time my belief that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was for the people in rock music, and I actually have came upon these days that it’s not necessarily that,” she said.
But she added, “in the event that they can’t go there to be recognized, where do they go? So I just felt like I can be taking away from someone that perhaps deserved it, definitely greater than me, because I never considered myself a rock artist.”
Following years of criticism regarding diversity — lower than 8 percent of inductees were women as of 2019 — the Rock Hall has made a degree lately to expand its purview. Artists like Jay-Z, Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson have been welcomed in from the worlds of rap, R&B and pop, alongside distinguished women across genres just like the Go-Go’s, Carole King and Tina Turner.
This 12 months, Eminem becomes just the tenth hip-hop act to be inducted, making the cut on his first ballot. (Artists develop into eligible for induction 25 years after the discharge of their first industrial recording.)
Parton, Richie, Simon and Duran Duran were also chosen on their first go-round, while fresh nominees like Beck and A Tribe Called Quest, who had been eligible for greater than a decade, were omitted. Simon, known for her folk-inflected pop hits like “You’re So Vain,” was a first-time nominee greater than 25 years after she qualified. Benatar and Eurythmics, long eligible, had each been considered once before.
Those omitted this 12 months also included Kate Bush, Devo, Fela Kuti, MC5, Recent York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine and Dionne Warwick.
Judas Priest was on the ballot, but will as an alternative be inducted within the non-performer category for musical excellence, alongside the songwriting and production duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Harry Belafonte and Elizabeth Cotten shall be recognized with the Early Influence Award, while the executives Allen Grubman, Jimmy Iovine and Sylvia Robinson are set to receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award, named for the longtime Atlantic Records honcho and one among the founders of the Rock Hall.
The thirty seventh annual induction ceremony shall be held on Nov. 5, at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and can air at a later date on HBO and SiriusXM.