Who’s Rock Hall Eligible in 2023 (and Why Most Won’t Get In)
A whole new collection of artists will become Hall eligible for the first time in 2023. And though the list of newcomers includes Grammy winners, chart toppers and multi-platinum artists, none appear destined for enshrinement any time soon.
From the rock world, Queens of the Stone Age and Muse headline the new group of Hall hopefuls. Josh Homme’s band has the type of resume and big-name connections that Hall voters traditionally love. Across seven studio albums, Queens of the Stone Age have created a distinctive desert rock sound all their own, with Dave Grohl, Billy Gibbons and Paul McCartney among the many marquee rockers who have sung the band’s praises. Muse, meanwhile, boast impressive credentials of their own, including two Grammy wins and more than 30 million albums sold. Both groups seem likely to go into the Hall at some point, but neither have the overwhelming prestige to do so in the first year of eligibility.
Listen to 'No One Knows' by Queens of the Stone Age
If the rap-rock/nu-metal craze of the late ‘90s had lasted another couple of decades, Limp Bizkit may have had a decent argument. Of course, it didn’t, so there’s little chance Fred Durst will ever get some “Nookie” inside the Hall of Fame. Similarly, acts like Creed and Third Eye Blind, which enjoyed massive success in the ‘90s and early 2000s, but faded out quickly afterward, simply don’t have the longevity or lasting impact required by the Hall.
Given his family legacy, it'd be pretty cool to see Derek Trucks given some consideration. The guitarist has definitely been Hall adjacent for much of his career, playing with such legends as Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh, Stephen Stills, Phil Lesh and Eric Clapton. But while his own work -- both in the Derek Trucks Band and Tedeschi Trucks Band -- has been plenty successful, there just hasn't been the kind of high-level commercial popularity that Hall voters expect.
Some of the strongest newly eligible acts come from the world of hip-hop (a fact sure to annoy those purists who insist the Hall is only for rock). Missy Elliott is the best-selling female rapper of all time, with a legacy that spans generations of artists who followed her. If there is a slam-dunk case anywhere to be found among the newcomers, it’s hers.
Listen to 'Get Ur Freak On' by Missy Elliott
Will Smith’s career first started thanks to his skills as an MC, but acting soon overtook music as his primary medium. When people think of Smith, they’re more likely to think of a movie star (or a slap), rather than his songs. There will be some who champion Big Willie and his ability to help make hip-hop palatable to mainstream, white audiences, but it's unlikely those voices will be strong enough to earn him induction.
Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) is an incredible MC and lyricist who, as both a solo artist and part of the duo Black Star, has released excellent work. However, his success has never been mainstream, and – similarly to Smith – he’s become more well-known for his acting work that his music.
Along similar lines, P Diddy’s career has been made on the back of his business acumen more than his musical talent. He was integral in the careers of Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Usher and many more artists. Maybe that’s enough to get him in via one of the Hall’s side categories, but as a performer, his resume doesn’t hold up. Diddy has released just four studio albums, and only his debut LP, 1997's No Way Out, would be considered a mainstream success.
Elsewhere on the newly eligible artists list, we get to a pair of pop powerhouses: Black Eyed Peas and Destiny’s Child. The former has sold more than 80 million albums, but has generally been dismissed for a lack of artistic merit. The latter, despite being hugely successful in their own right, will always be thought of as the girl group Beyonce was in before she became Beyonce. Neither offer the type of credentials that historically sway Hall voters.
Listen to 'Bootylicious' by Destiny's Child
Beyond the aforementioned acts, few of the newly eligible artists do much to move the needle. Wyclef Jean has a better chance of getting in with the Fugees than as a solo artist, 98 Degrees were the third most popular boy band of the late ‘90s (that's not a compliment) and New Found Glory were never able to rise any higher than the Warped Tour main stage.
If there’s one last name to keep an eye on, it’s Sia. The Australian singer-songwriter took some time to catch on – it wasn’t until her sixth studio album, 2014’s 1000 Forms of Fear, that she really achieved widespread acclaim. Since then she’s churned out a bevy of her own chart-toppers -- "Chandelier," "Elastic Heart," "Cheap Thrills" -- while also penning for hits for Rihanna, Katy Perry, Beyonce and more.
The 2023 newcomers offer an eclectic mix of styles for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame voters to consider. Inevitably, a few of those mentioned here will get inducted. We're just not banking on it happening soon.