Judas Priest Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Rage Against the Machine Snubbed | Revolver

Judas Priest Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Rage Against the Machine Snubbed

Priest honored with "award for musical excellence" — not main Performers category
judas priest GETTY unleashed in the east, Fin Costello/Redferns
photograph by Fin Costello/Redferns

After 50 heavy metal years, Judas Priest have finally been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Sadly, Rage Against the Machine did not make this year's cut.

On Wednesday morning (May 4th), the institution announced their Class of 2022, which pared down its list of 17 nominees to a mere seven names who are being inducted into the main Performers category. Eminem, Pat Benatar, Duran Duran, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Eurythmics and Carly Simon are the music icons who were selected this year, while Priest are being recognized with the "award for musical excellence," which was bestowed to late Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads in 2021.

"Wow, this is so exciting — at last. At last, you know?" Judas Priest's Rob Halford told Billboard"And, glory hallelujah, there's another metal band in the hall of fame! That's the blessing we've all been waiting for."

According to the Hall of Fame's website, the Priest lineup getting inducted includes vocalist Halford, bassist Ian Hill, guitarist Glenn Tipton and drummer Scott Travis (drums), as well as former members, guitarist K.K. Downing, drummer Les Binks and late drummer Dave Holland.

While it's amazing that Priest finally made it into the Rock Hall after being snubbed in 2018 and 2020, it's worth noting that the "award for musical excellence" isn't quite the same distinction as being inducted into the Performers category.

Formerly known as the "sidemen" category, the Musical Excellence award is bestowed upon artists, musicians, songwriters and producers who've had a marked impact on the musical landscape. Since being introduced in 2000, Priest are only the second band (following the E. Street Band) to receive its honors, as it's typically been awarded to individual figures like Rhoads, Ringo Starr, LL Cool J and others. 

As a foundational pillar of the vast genre of heavy metal, Priest are obviously worthy of such a distinction, but we can't help but feel like the Rock Hall is yet again marginalizing metal within its institutional walls. To this day, only two metal bands, Black Sabbath and Metallica, have ever been inducted into the Performers category. Are Priest not also worthy of that distinction? 

Regardless, it's awesome that they're finally in there, and hopefully Rage Against the Machine can get 'em next time — along with Iron Maiden, Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera, Motörhead and basically every other massively important metal band that's ever existed.