When it comes to one of the most well-rounded, all time great singer/songwriters in all of music, Willie Nelson is right up there with the best of them.
Although Shotgun Willie’s primary genre was country music, the guy was never afraid to venture out and try a different sound, and throughout his 99 studio albums that have spanned from 1956 up to now, we’ve seen the guy dabble in country, blues, jazz, gospel, and even rock & roll.
Needless to say, the 90-year-old Texan has done it all throughout his career, and that’s why we all love the guy.
With that being said, it appears that another accolade will be added to Nelson’s long list of musical accomplishments, as the guy is officially set for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, according to Billboard.
Nelson is joined by Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, George Michael and the Spinners, who all rounded out the impressive class of 2023. A Tribe Called Quest, Iron Maiden, Joy Division/New Order, Cyndi Lauper, Soundgarden, the White Stripes and Warren Zevon were all nominated but did not make it into the class this year.
Despite the name, the Rock & Roll Halle of Fame inducts artists from all genres, and has sport of become the de facto “music hall of fame.” Whether that makes any sense (to me it doesn’t) we can debate about later, but it does seem a little silly to have pop stars, country artists and rappers something titled the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
That being said, the nominees are chosen by 1,000 voters each year, including members of the music industry, former inductees and historians. They consider length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique are taken into consideration, according to the hall of fame.
It’s hard to find a guy in country music who is more deserving of this honor, as Nelson has been able to reach such a broad variety of audiences throughout his extensive career.
Its great to see country artists who’ve always chosen to do things their own way finally get recognition from other genres, as we saw Dolly Parton get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year.
These inductees will be celebrated at an induction ceremony and concert to take place November 3rd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Country Singers In The Rock Hall
Chet Atkins (2002)
Guitar player, songwriter producer, Chet is credited with being a significant player in developing the “Nashville Sound.” He was inducted in the Musical Excellence category which “shall be given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.”
Johnny Cash (1992)
The man who needs no explanation…
Floyd Cramer (2003)
A Nashville session piano player, like Chet Atkins, Floyd was inducted into the Rock Hall under the Musical Excellence category.
Bill Monroe (1997)
The skilled singer, songwriter and mandolin player is known as The Father of Bluegrass Music.
Jimmie Rodgers (1986)
Known as the Father of Country Music, he was inducted in the Early Influences category which “shall be given to a performing artist or group whose music and performance style have directly influenced and helped inspire and evolve rock & roll and music that has impacted youth culture.”
Other Early Influences include acts like Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, the Everly Brothers, James Brown and Bob Wills.
Hank Williams (1987)
Also needs no explanation…
Bob Willis and His Texas Playboys (1999)
As mentioned previously, Bob Wills was inducted in the Early Influences category for his pioneering work in country music. Known as the King of Western Swing, he influenced the likes of Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and more.
Dolly Parton (2022)
She was inducted last year after initially declining the invitation.
Willie Nelson (2023)
The newest member in the Class of 2023.
Of course there are a few more artists that are both Country Music Hall of Famers and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, however they’re not known primarily for being country artists. Artists like Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Brenda Lee, Wanda Jackson, Sam Phillips or Ray Charles.