When the nominees were announced last December, Country music legend Dolly Parton tried to bow out of the competition; saying she did not deserve it.  Just days before the announcement of the new class of Hall of Famers, Parton changed her tune and agreed to be a part of the nominees. 

After the votes from the 600 plus members was revealed, Dolly Parton can now add Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member to her extensive list of accomplishments and awards.

Joining Parton in the 2022 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Duran Duran, the Eurythmics, Eminem, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Judas Priest, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Harry Belafonte, and Elizabeth Cotton.  This year three selections were chosen as winner of the Ahmet Ertegun Award with Allen Grubman, Jimmy Iovine, and Sylvia Robinson.

Chariman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame John Sykes spoke on the new inductees saying, “this diverse group of inductees each had a profound impact on the sound of youth culture and helped change the course of rock & roll.  Their music moved generations and influenced so many artists that followed”.

Artists become eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after their first record release; however, it is their musical influence, longevity, and social impact that determines whether or not an artist will be inducted into The Hall.

Dolly Parton, Carly Simon, Eminem, Duran Duran, and Lionel Richie have been inducted on the first time on the ballot.  Parton and Simon are just two of six women who will be inducted into The Hall this year.  This year marks the first time in the 37 year history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that six women will be inducted.

The official induction ceremonies will be held on November 5 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Early influence member Harry Belafonte grew up in Jamaica and helped to define his signature sound.  Going far beyond music; Belafonte is an actor, producer, and activist.  He released his debut album in 1955.  Since then he has influenced thousands of performers including Gotye, Lil’ Wayne, and Jason Derulo.

Rocker Pat Benatar and husband Neil Giraldo helped to create the rock sound of the 80’s.  A classically trained mezzo-soprano Benatar joined forces with Giraldo and his distinctive guitar playing to create numerous hit songs that brought the couple gold records, platinum albums, and multiple Grammy Awards that led them to being a staple on the MTV video rotation.

Another early influence inductee, Elizabeth Cotten has influenced generations of musicians with her voice and inventive guitar playing.  The left handed artist began composing music when she was still a child.  She has seen her music recorded by numerous artists including Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal, and Peter Paul and Mary.  She did not begin her recording career until she was in her 60’s after playing some of her songs for the Seeger family.  She continued performing up until her death at the age of 92.

British rockers Duran Duran was another integral part of music in the 80’s.  Formed in Birmingham, England the rockers were Glam rock before there was Glam rock.  With the hunky Simon Le Bon as the lead singer, Duran Duran filled the covers of teen magazines and the MTV video rotation.  They have sold over 100 million albums with 18 hit songs in the U.S.

Rap artist Eminem is a 15 time Grammy Award winner who has become the best selling solo artist in the 2000’s that includes 10 consecutive number ones on the Billboard chart.  A Detroit native, Marshall Mathers – Eminem – is a true Cinderella story who has rapped his way out of poverty to become one of the most successful Hip-Hop artists in history.

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart best known as the Eurythmics turned a “Sweet Dream” into a hit making career that led to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

The first of three Ahmet Ertegun Award winner Allen Grubman is a founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but began his career representing some of the biggest names in the music business including “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen, U2, Sting, John Mellencamp, Madonna, Lionel Richie, Elton John, and Lady Gaga.  He is known for creating long term contracts that allowed the artists to maintain their creative control.

Another Ahmet Ertegun Award winner Jimmy Iovine is not one to “follow the leader” but create his own path.  The Brooklyn native is an engineer, producer, label founder, entrepreneur, and digital music innovator.  Throughout his career, he has worked with numerous artists including Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Patti Smith, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, and U2.  As the founder of Interscope Records he has signed Nine Inch Nails, Tupac Shakur, 50 Cent, Lady Gaga, No Doubt, and the Black Eyed Peas.

As a Musical Excellence Award member Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are known for their creation of “smooth, funky synth-laden grooves”.  The Minneapolis natives are just as well known for their dark glasses, black suits, and black fedora hats.  The high school friends were members of Prince’s band The Time which led them to forming their own production company and what became known as the Minneapolis sound.

Metal artists Judas Priest have been inducted into the Hall of Fame for their Musical Excellence for creating the model for what would become the future of heavy metal.  Their message is “be yourself and love the music you love.”  Metallica, Slipknot, Pearl Jam, and Rage Against the Machine were all influenced by the music of Judas Priest.  Fifty years on, the metal heads are still rocking.

Already a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Dolly Parton has influenced generations of musicians crossing various genres of music.  Her music has been recorded by fellow Country music artists, rockers, crooners, and R&B artists.  In a career that has spanned six decades, Parton has recorded over 50 albums and has penned some 3,000 songs.  With beginnings in a one room log cabin in Tennessee, Parton has gone on to be a musical legend with her own theme park, Broadway musical, and has seen that thousands of children had books to read.

Tuskegee native Lionel Richie began his musical career as a member of the group The Commodores in the seventies.  As a solo artist he had fans “Dancing on the Ceiling” “All Night Long” on the way to millions of albums sold.  Richie penned the massive charity single “We are the World” with Michael Jackson to create one of the biggest selling charity songs in music history.

Final Ahmet Ertegun Award winner Sylvia Robinson is an artist, songwriter, producer, record label owner, and CEO.  The Hip-Hop mogul is a pioneer when it comes to the success of rap music.  After being a performer in the 50’s, she and husband Joe founded Sugar Hill Records in 1979.  It is Robinson who created the Sugarhill Gang with the song “Rapper’s Delight” – the first ever Hip-Hop record to go gold.

New York City native Carly Simon isn’t so vain that she couldn’t make it into the Hall of Fame on her first ballot.  She began her musical career with her sister Lucy as The Simon Sisters.  She broke out as a solo artist in 1971 with a Best New Artist Award for her hit song “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be”.  The hit “You’re So Vain” from her third album still sparks controversy over exactly who the song is about.