Rob Halford has admitted that he was “pissed” when he first found out that JUDAS PRIEST would receive the Musical Excellence Award at this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
PRIEST will get the award at the fall 2022 event, which will honor Eminem, Dolly Parton, DURAN DURAN, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, EURYTHMICS and Carly Simon in the Performers category.
The award for Musical Excellence — which was originally titled the “Sidemen” category when it debuted — is given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.
Back in 2010, when the Sidemen category was renamed the award for Musical Excellence, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation president Joel Peresman told The Plain Dealer the category “gives us flexibility to dive into some things and recognize some people who might not ordinarily get recognized.”
JUDAS PRIEST is the second band to receive the award for Musical Excellence; the E STREET BAND was the first. Last year, late OZZY OSBOURNE and QUIET RIOT guitarist Randy Rhoads was one of the recipients of the Musical Excellence Award.
Asked by the Arizona Republic how he felt when he found out he and his bandmates were going to be given the Musical Excellence Award by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this year, Halford said: “Why haven’t they given us the same title as all of our friends. BLACK SABBATH, for example. There’s a different tag, isn’t there? I was pissed. I was a bit pissed. At the end of the day, does it matter?”
He continued: “Some days, I go, ‘No, it doesn’t matter. We’re in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Be grateful. Shut the hell up.’ And then there are other days where I’m like, ‘God damn, why did they give us the Musical Excellence Award?’ Because it sounds very, you know, grandiose. ‘The Musical Excellence Award, reserved for blah, blah, blah.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, but I want to be with that bunch of musicians over there that have got the performance or whatever it is that they’ve got.'”
Halford added: “I don’t know why they gave us the Musical Excellence Award. I have no clue. I just felt a little bit like, ‘Well, SABBATH got this. So why can’t we have that?’ Not that I’m jealous of SABBATH. I’m just talking about this tag that they give it. Why do they put these tags on the damn thing? Why don’t they go, ‘Welcome. You’re in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame‘ and leave it at that.
“A lot of our fans went, ‘What the hell?’ ‘Oh, you know, they’re a great band. They are an excellent band.’ ‘But why put the Musical Excellence? Why don’t you give them like everybody else has got?’
“I know it’s silly, but it’s just frustrating. And on the other side, it’s like, ‘Great. Everybody else got that and we got shafted with this.’ [Laughs] JUDAS PRIEST are still the Rodney Dangerfield of heavy metal. They can’t get no respect.”
The induction ceremony will be held on November 5, 2022 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It will air at a later date on HBO and stream on HBO Max. There will also be a radio simulcast on SiriusXM‘s Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Radio channel 310.
According to the Hall Of Fame, the JUDAS PRIEST members that will get inducted include current members Halford, Ian Hill (bass),Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Scott Travis (drums),along with former members K.K. Downing (guitar),Les Binks (drums) and late drummer Dave Holland.
JUDAS PRIEST was previously on the ballot for Rock Hall induction in 2020, but failed to receive enough votes to make that year’s class.
Having been eligible for induction since 1999, PRIEST was also on the ballot for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but was ultimately left out of the inductee list.
To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination.
Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands like IRON MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N’ ROSES in that group’s first year of eligibility.
The Rock Hall didn’t induct BLACK SABBATH until 2006, and METALLICA followed three years later.
Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn’t get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014.
DEEP PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but didn’t get inducted until 2016.