The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has officially unveiled its class of 2022 inductees and, once again, Judas Priest and Rage Against the Machine were snubbed. Instead, Priest have been bestowed a "Musical Excellence" award as some sort of consolation prize that qualifies them as an inductee, separate from the nominees announced last year.

This year's class feels especially light on the bona fide rock end, with only Pat Benatar truly fitting the bill of a rock 'n' roll act, not that the remainder of the nominees who received the nod aren't worthy of recognition in their own right.

In addition to Benatar, the nominees for the class of 2022 who will be enshrined also includes Duran Duran (winners of the fan vote), Eminem, Eurthymics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon.

View the complete inductee list, which features more artists who will receive specific awards, further down the page.

While Black Sabbath are largely regarded as the very first heavy metal band, it's the style pioneered by Priest — screaming twin guitar leads and solo battles, wide-ranging singing leaning in the direction of a higher vocal pitch, forceful drumming and driving bass — that was popularized and became synonymous with classic metal throughout the 1980s. And they created the leather and studs imagery that still looms large over the genre today.

Denying the band, who has left an indelible mark on heavy music and helped metal gain traction in the United States with hits such as "Living After Midnight" and "You've Got Another Thing Coming," feels utterly ridiculous and is an overall indictment on the Rock Hall committee's inability to honestly and accurately assess rock culture and historical significance.

Technically, Judas Priest are among the 2022 class, but without a proper induction as a nominee and performer, it feels quite backhanded.

As for Rage Against the Machine, you'd think a reunion tour that sold out in a matter of minutes with a total of five dates at New York's legendary Madison Square Garden would be indicative of the group's enduring legacy. With political strife in the public consciousness more than it has been in decades, Rage's lyrical aims and statements of intent are overwhelmingly relatable.

Couple that with their innovative style that combined elements of rap/hip-hop and rock with warped riffs and Zach de la Rocha's inimitable vocal timbre and palpable ire (and, since it is the Rock Hall — several multi-platinum albums) and the argument for Rage Against the Machine's exclusive from this year's class feels downright inexcusable.

But this is what happens every year, right? The nominees are announced, the rock and metal community whips itself into a frenzy and declares the Hall totally insignificant, yet when things don't go the way we want, we get outraged and place significance on the importance of being inducted. It's a self-defeating fallacy that won't go away any time soon and we're sure to do it all again next year.

A live induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 5 in Los Angeles.


Performer Category
Pat Benatar
Duran Duran
Dolly Parton
Lionel Richie
Carly Simon

Musical Excellence Award
Judas Priest
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Early Influence Award
Harry Belafonte
Elizabeth Cotten

Ahmet Ertegun Award
Allen Grubman
Jimmy Iovine
Sylvia Robinson

31 Hard Rock + Metal Acts Who Deserve to Be in the Rock Hall of Fame

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