Judas Priest will finally be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, but they won’t be inducted in the “Performer” category. Instead, the metal icons are receiving the “Musical Excellence Award,” which frontman Rob Halford has mixed feelings about.
The Metal God touched on the topic in a recent interview with the Arizona Republic saying, “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?”
When pushed on to expand on his feelings about the “different tag,” Halford said, “Well, yeah, I was pissed. I was a bit pissed. At the end of the day, does it matter? 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 continued, “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, but I want to be with that bunch of musicians over there that have got the performance or whatever it is that they’ve got.’ I don’t know why they gave us the Musical Excellence Award. I have no clue.I just felt a little bit like, ‘Well, Sabbath got this. So why can’t we have that?’ Not that I’m jealous of Sabbath. I’m just talking about this tag that they give it. Why do they put these tags on the damn thing? Why don’t they go, ‘Welcome. You’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’ and leave it at that. A lot of our fans went, ‘What the hell?’ ‘Oh, you know, they’re a great band. They are an excellent band.’ ‘But why put the musical excellence? Why don’t you give them like everybody else has got?'”
Halford concluded, “…I know it’s silly, but it’s just frustrating…And on the other side, it’s like, ‘Great. Everybody else got that and we got shafted with this.’ (laughs) Judas Priest are still the Rodney Dangerfield of heavy metal. They can’t get no respect.”
Priest will be receiving the Rock Hall's Musical Excellence Award along with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. According to the Rock Hall, the award is, “Given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.”
The 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with an edited version of the ceremony set to air/stream on HBO and HBO Max at a later date.