Talking with AZ Central, Rob Halford, lead singer of the British heavy metal group Judas Priest said he was “pissed” that the band will not be inducted with the main performer inductees in this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The main performer inductees this year include Eminem, Duran Duran, Lionel Richie and Dolly Parton.
The band will be accepting the Award for Musical Excellence at this year’s award ceremony in November in Los Angeles. The category was established in 2000 as the “Sideman” award, with artists such as Chet Atkins and King Curtis winning it before it changed its name to the Award for Musical Excellence 10 years later.
At the time of the categories’ name change, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation chief Joel Peresman told the Plain Dealer that the category “gives us flexibility to dive into some things and recognize some people who might not ordinarily get recognized.”
The website for the awards states, “The Award for Musical Excellence shall be given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.” The winners are chosen by a different committee to the Hall’s main voting body, there is also no limit to the number of artists who can receive the award and it is not required to be given out every year.
When asked about how he felt about receiving The Musical Excellence Award 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?” Pressed on the matter, he said, “Well, yeah, I was pissed. I was a bit pissed. At the end of the day, does it matter?”
Halford 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.’”
He finished the interview by saying, “and on the other side, it’s like, ‘Great. Everybody else got that and we got shafted with this.’ Judas Priest are still the Rodney Dangerfield of heavy metal. They can’t get no respect.”
Judas Priest formed in Birmingham in 1969 often ranking among the top metal bands of all time, their albums selling more than 50 million copies worldwide. Despite a body of inventive and pioneering work in the latter part of the 1970s, the band didn’t achieve significant commercial success until 1980, with their album British Steel reaching number four on the UK charts. Watch the official video for “Breaking the Law” from their album British Steel below.
UK Tour dates Jan/Feb 2020
— Judas Priest (@judaspriest) September 9, 2019
You can catch Judas Priest on tour in the UK in 2023 on Ozzy Osbourne’s 2020 rescheduled No More Tours 2, tickets are available here.
31/05/2023 – Nottingham Motorpoint Arena – Nottingham
02/06 – Utilita Arena Newcastle – Newcastle Upon Tyne
04/06 – OVO Hydro – Glasgow
07/06 – AO Arena – Manchester
10/06 – 3Arena – Dublin
12/06 – The O2 – London
14/06 – Resorts World Arena – Birmingham