The legendary British metal band is receiving the Musical Excellence Award — the same award that saw the posthumous induction of Randy Rhoads last year. Although Judas Priest weren’t voted in by the Hall’s proper voting body, frontman Rob Halford called the induction a “blessing.”
“It’s a very, very important institution for recognizing various people that have been in music since music began, right from the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll,” Halford told Billboard. “To be part of that is, like, wow. And glory hallelujah, there’s another metal band in now. That’s the blessing we’ve all been waiting for.”
Judas Priest were a constant on the Hall’s fan ballot for years but never made the final cut for induction. Metal artists have been notoriously snubbed by the institution over the years, so perhaps the induction of Rhoads and Judas Priest is a sign that the genre’s progenitors are finally garnering their due acceptance.
“That’s totally unexpected,” Halford said of receiving the Musical Excellence Award, which specifically celebrates pioneering artists. “That’s just a very extra thrill to have that. They really look at you beyond the simple band that you are. They really dig deep as to this album and that album this song and that song. I think that really supports what we’ve always tried to do.”
Added Halford: “I think it validates the real musical adventure that Judas Priest has been on since Rocka Rolla. We’re a band that has taken you through man, many different, many dimensions, of metal. We’ve always called ourselves a classic metal band, but we’re a hard band to pin down. One minute we can be your Turbo Lover and then we can be your Painkiller, and how amazing it is for a band to really search for those opportunities within the genre of heavy metal. So I think the acknowledgement of Musical Excellence is a really sweet addition.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for November 5th at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The class of 2022 also includes Eminem, Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, and more. Here’s hoping Halford gets his wish of performing a duet with Dolly Parton.