Country Music News

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seems to have taken notice of country music. After Dolly Parton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, they have included Willie Nelson on their 2023 ballot. This is Willie’s first time being nominated. To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. Willie’s first release was the 1957 single “No Place For Me.” So he would have been eligible in 1982, which is four years before the Rock Hall inducted their first class!

Other artists on the ballot include Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, Iron Maiden, Joy Division/New Order, Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden, the Spinners, A Tribe Called Quest, the White Stripes and Warren Zevon.

Nominee ballots will be sent to an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, historians, and members of the music industry. An artist’s musical impact and influence on other artists, length and depth of career and body of work as well as innovation and superiority in style and technique are taken into consideration.

Fans around the world can participate in the Induction selection process through the “fan vote.” Through April 28, fans can vote online every day at or in person at the Museum in Cleveland. The top five artists selected by the public will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to determine the 2023 Inductees.

Inductees will be announced in May. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2023 Induction Ceremony will take place this fall with date, venue, and on-sale information to be announced.

If he’s voted in, Nelson would be one of a handful of country artists in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Parton, Hank Williams, Brenda Lee and Jimmie Rodgers. There are also a number of country-adjacent artists inducted as well, including Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis. Nelson has long been an influence on rock artists: the 1996 tribute album Twisted Willie featured members of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Screaming Trees, as well as L7, the Reverend Horton Heat and the Supersuckers. He’s also performed or collaborated with rockers including Sheryl Crow, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, John Mellencamp and Aerosmith.

As we have reported, an upcoming tribute concert to Willie Nelson in honor of his 90th birthday will feature artists including Beck, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Neil Young and Warren Haynes. The shows will take place April 29 and 30, 2023, at the Hollywood Bowl. (His birthday is April 29.) Get more information on the show here.

Nelson has released over 70 albums as a solo artist and is preparing to release his next one. I Don’t Know A Thing About Love pays tribute to the songwriter Harlan Howard. The album is due out on March 3. All of the songs were written or co-written by Howard, including “Busted,” “Tiger By The Tail” and the title track.

Willie Nelson: His 90 Best Songs