Willie Nelson Finally Makes The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame At Age 90, Joins 6 Others In New Class

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You know how I know that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is full of it?

Because Willie Nelson just got inducted earlier today, at the age of 90.

It took decades upon decades of being one of the most influential and recognizable musicians for the Hall to finally give Nelson the honor.

Honestly, if I’m Willie I would pull the ultimate badass move and just be like “Nah, I’m good,” after making him wait till he was fricken 90 to be inducted. It’d be a fitting rebellious move for the artist that helped create the outlaw country music genre.

Willie Nelson has finally been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)


Nelson’s induction comes a year after another shocking fact that Dolly Parton was never in the Rock Hall either until last year! (She actually declined it saying she never considered herself a rock artist. The Hall inducted her anyway).

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Chairman John Sykes spoke with Variety about what may have finally changed in the voter’s eyes to allow Parton and now Nelson into the prestigious music club.

“It’s long overdue, and I think Dolly Parton getting inducted last year opened up the eyes of a lot of our voters to understand that country is a part of rock ‘n’ roll right next to gospel and rhythm and blues,” Sykes said.

“I think that also shined a light on the incredible contributions that Willie’s made in, what, 98 records that he’s made over the years. So it was great to see him get so many votes from the body of 1200 voters. Now, remember, Hank Williams, Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, they’re all in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but there was I think a long dearth of country artists that contributed to rock ‘n’ roll that had gone unnoticed before we’ve seen two iconic country artists get recognized in the last two years.”

Honestly I have no idea what Sykes is talking about and in fact he doesn’t give any good reason that Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson should have had to wait so long while Johnny Cash and Hank Williams and others have been in for years.


Regardless, music fans and critics are sure to once again have issue with this year’s nominees, as well as those who missed out once again.

Joining Nelson this year will also be Rage Against the Machine. They have been on the cusp of getting in now in recent years, especially as they have become more relevant thanks to heightened socio-political tensions.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame voted to induct Kate Bush this year. (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)

Kate Bush has also received the nod from the Hall. Although she rarely does public appearances and may at times be an afterthought, Bush found pop culture relevancy last year after her 1985 song “Running Up That Hill” received placement in Netflix’s Stranger Things. Literally an entire generation of TikTokers and more had no idea who she even was, were streaming the heck out of that song just like people did years ago when it was the No. 1 song on FM radio.


Because everything has to revolve around diversity these days, Sykes told Variety that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is purposely trying to bring in more cultures, music genres, sex and race.

“I’m proud of the progress we’re making… we’re making great strides. We can always do better, but we’re on the road to recognizing all the artists of all genders and all races that have been really impacted rock ‘n’ roll,” Sykes continued.

This year 3 of the 7 inductees are women, coming after last year saw all-time highs with 4 of 7.

Sheryl Crow and Missy Elliot join Kate Bush as this year’s winners, with Elliot being voted in on her first year of eligibility.


A total of seven artists were officially selected out of a ballot that included 14.


  • Kate Bush
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Missy Elliott
  • George Michael
  • Willie Nelson
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • The Spinners


  • White Stripes
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Iron Maiden
  • Joy Division / New Order
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Soundgarden
  • Warren Zevon

Despite voters taking way too long to get Nelson in, I don’t mind the rest of this year’s inductees. All are pretty accomplished and deserve to be acknowledged for their music contributions.

As far as those that didn’t get in, metal fans are furious that Iron Maiden once again didn’t make the cut despite being synonymous with other Hall of Famers like Metallica and Pantera.

It may have something to do with front man Bruce Dickinson’s 2018 comments where he didn’t hold back his opinion on the Hall.

Iron Maiden once again did not make it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (Photo credit should read Feature China/Future Publishing via Getty Images)


“I actually think the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is an utter and complete load of bollocks, to be honest with you,” the Maiden frontman said during a promotional book tour in 2018. “It’s run by a bunch of sanctimonious bloody Americans who wouldn’t know rock ’n’ roll if it hit them in the face. They need to stop taking Prozac and start drinking fucking beer,” he hilariously added.

“I’m really happy we’re not there and I would never want to be there. If we’re ever inducted, I will refuse, Rock n’ roll music does not belong in a mausoleum in Cleveland,” Dickinson continued.

Well, Dickinson and Maiden got their wishes as they have once again been left off this year’s class.

Over 500 music industry professionals and critics vote each year on the Hall’s nominees. An artist can not be inducted until 25 years after their first commercial release.

What are your thoughts? How did the voters do this year? Hit us up on @OutKick and @TheGunzShow on social with your reactions on who you want to see in the Hall!

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

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