2023 Rock Hall inductees include Kate Bush, Willie Nelson and Missy Elliott

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NPR | By Grace Widyatmadja and Hazel Cills / Published May 3, 2023 at 4:34 PM ET

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2023 class of inductees on Wednesday, with seven performers being awarded the distinction out of the original 14 nominees announced back in February. The class reflects a wide-range of artists across genres, from country and rock singer-songwriters like Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow, to the late, soulful pop star George Michael and quintessential soul vocal group The Spinners.

The rock band Rage Against the Machine, previously nominated four times, is also in the 2023 class. And Kate Bush, whose eclectic, literary ’80s hits experienced a resurgence last year strong enough to break a 40-year old track into the top 10 of Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, will also be inducted.

Over the last decade, the Hall’s definitions of “rock and roll” have widened considerably to incorporate artists working within the legacy of rhythm and blues, country and gospel (sometimes to the befuddlement or chagrin of artists who protest their own inclusion.) The inclusion of rapper and futurist Missy Elliott in this year’s class of inductees best indicates the changing spirit and future of the Hall. Elliott, Michael, Crow and Nelson are among the artists inducted this year who are joining the Hall after just one nomination on the ballot.

In addition to the seven acts inducted in the “performers” category, guitarist Link Wray and hip-hop innovator DJ Kool Herc will be recognized in the Hall’s “musical influences” category. Al Kooper, Bernie Taupin and Chaka Khan will be given awards for “musical excellence” and Soul Train creator, producer and host Don Cornelius will be given the Ahmet Ertegun awards, handed out since 2020 to an influential figure in the industry.

The induction ceremony for the 2023 class will be held on Friday, Nov. 3 in Brooklyn.

Kate Bush

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Sheryl Crow

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Missy Elliott

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George Michael

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Willie Nelson

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Rage Against the Machine

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The Spinners

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