Willie Nelson inducted to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: see all the 2023 inductees

Every year the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts a new class of bands and artists, honoring music’s most iconic and influential artists.

The 2023 lineup was released today, and includes many beloved names — including 90-year-old country legend Willie Nelson.

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LOS ANGELES – JULY 28: Singer/actor Willie Nelson performs at the afterparty for the premiere of Warner Bros. Picture’s “The Dukes of Hazzard” at the Chinese Theater on July 28, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The inductees were announced Wednesday morning. “This year’s incredible group of Inductees reflects the diverse artists and sounds that define rock & roll,” said John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

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Willie Nelson inducted

Perhaps the most beloved name on the list is Willie Nelson, finally making the Hall shortly after celebrating his 90th birthday. While primarily known for his country music, Nelson has been an influential favorite among artists of all genres.

“Nelson may call country music his home, but he has always pushed stylistic boundaries – mixing in rock & roll, jazz, pop, and blues,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wrote, calling Nelson an “American institution.”

Sterling Munksgard / Shutterstock.com

Love for Willie Nelson has never been higher: the country legend just marked his 90th birthday with an all-star two-night concert event that celebrated his six decades in the music industry. Nelson performed with Neil Young, Kris Kristofferson, Keith Richards, and Snoop Dogg, among others, and dozens of other artists showed up and performed his songs.

“It didn’t matter if you were a hillbilly or a hippie, everyone was a Willie Nelson fan,” actor Owen Wilson said during the event, per AP. “As a kid growing up in Texas, it seemed like there was nothing bigger than Willie Nelson, And looking out at the Hollywood Bowl tonight, it still feels like there’s nothing bigger than Willie Nelson.”

HOLLYWOOD CA, AUG. 9, 2013. Willie Nelson performing his album “Stardust” at the Hollywood Bowl on Aug. 09, 2013. Lyle Lovett and his Large band opens the show. (Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Other inductees: Sheryl Crow, George Michael

The artists being inducted alongside Willie Nelson in the Performer Category include musicians of various genres and generations, all of whom have made their own distinct impact on the music industry.

Inductees this year include singer-songwriter Kate Bush, pop-country superstar Sheryl Crow, rapper Missy Elliott, the late Wham! musician George Michael, politically-charged rock icons Rage Against the Machine, and R&B vocal group The Spinners.

E98T29 American singer Sheryl Crow in concert in Glasgow, Scotland, on 10th December 1997.

Kate Bush, an acclaimed and influential British artist, found renewed popularity among a younger generation last year after her song “Running Up That Hill” was featured in the Netflix series Stranger Things, launching the song and its album to the top of the charts decades after their release.

Kate Bush (courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Missy Elliot, known as the “Queen of Rap” and one of the most influential female rap artists, was inducted in her first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. She is the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted.

Four of the seven nominees — Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, George Michael, and Willie Nelson — were on the ballot for the first time this year. Artists are eligible 25 years after their first record release.

Missy Elliott photographed in Los Angeles Dec. 17, 2002.; The Lot; Missy Elliott, Self Assignment, December 17, 2002; Los Angeles; California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/Contour by Getty Images) (courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Rage Against the Machine, meanwhile, finally made it on on the fifth try.

“This is Rage Against the Machine’s fifth nomination. So always the bridesmaid, never the bride in a way,” guitarist Tom Morello told Audacy Check In earlier this year. “It’s an honor, and it’s great for the fans, and it’s something my mom would be very happy (about).”

Rage Against the Machine (courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Other influential artists were nominated this year but did not make the final cut: A Tribe Called Quest, Iron Maiden, Joy Division/New Order, Cyndi Lauper, Soundgarden, The White Stripes and Warren Zevon.

Several other influential music industry figures will be inducted outside the performer category: DJ Kool Herc and Link Wray were inducted under the Musical Influence Award category, and Chaka Khan, Al Kooper and Bernie Taupin were inducted under the Musical Excellence Award.

CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 25: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum building, designed by architect by I. M. Pei, is seen in this 2009 Cleveland, Ohio, early morning city landscape photo. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Don Cornelius, creator and host of Soul Train, received the Ahmet Ertegun Award, an award for “non-performing industry professionals who have had a major influence on the creative development and growth of rock & roll and music that has impacted youth culture.”

Congrats to Willie Nelson and all of this year’s incredible nominees!

Which nominee are you most excited for? Who do you love that didn’t make the cut this year? Share this story and let us know your thoughts! 🎸🤘


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