Dolly Parton, Eminem, Lionel Richie lead 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees

A triptych of photos of performers Dolly Parton, Eminem and Lionel Richie, all singing into microphones onstage.
Dolly Parton, left, Eminem and Lionel Richie are among the artists and executives who’ll be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year.
(Michael Loccisano; Kevin Mazur; Erika Goldring / Getty Images)

Dolly Parton is joining the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame whether she wants to or not.

The country-music legend, who made global headlines recently when she asked that her nomination be withdrawn because she felt she hadn’t earned the right to become a member, will nevertheless be inducted later this year, organizers announced Wednesday, as part of a varied group of acts that includes Pat Benatar, Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon.

Last week, Parton clarified in an NPR interview that, were she to be voted in, she’d “accept gracefully” even though she “felt like I would be taking away from someone that maybe deserved it, certainly more than me, ’cause I never considered myself a rock artist.”


Now all eyes will be waiting to see whether Parton shows up to the Rock Hall’s 37th annual induction ceremony, set to take place Nov. 5 at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

As Parton’s selection illustrates, the hall has broadened its membership in recent years along race, gender and style lines; for decades, the group — whose voters include more than 1,000 musicians, executives, historians and journalists — was widely criticized for overvaluing the work of older white men.

When rapper Jay-Z entered the hall last year, he said, “Growing up, we didn’t think we could be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” and added that he hoped he was showing the “next generation that anything is possible.”

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Beyond country music, the 2022 class represents hip-hop, new wave, soft rock and R&B; it also features more women than any previous class, as the hall pointed out in a statement.

Said John Sykes, the organization’s chairman: “This diverse group of inductees each had a profound impact on the sound of youth culture and helped change the course of rock and roll. Their music moved generations and influenced so many artists that followed.”

Parton, a 10-time Grammy Award winner, has released more than 50 studio albums; she wrote oft-covered standards such as “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You.” Richie found success with the Commodores in the late 1970s before becoming one of the biggest solo stars of the ’80s. Duran Duran and Eurythmics helped bring new wave from the U.K. to the United States, while Benatar made space for women in the male-dominated ’80s rock scene. And Simon brought a writerly flair to smoothly rendered songs about romance among the well-heeled.


Acts become eligible for consideration 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording. For Eminem, the Oscar-winning rapper as responsible as any for centering hip-hop in the pop mainstream, that means he’s being inducted in his first year of eligibility; Parton, Richie, Simon and Duran Duran also were on the ballot for the first time, while Benatar and Eurythmics had been nominated previously without being voted in.

Nominated acts that didn’t make the cut for the 2022 class include Beck, A Tribe Called Quest, Kate Bush, Devo, Fela Kuti, the MC5, the New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine and Dionne Warwick.

Judas Priest, the groundbreaking British heavy-metal band, won’t be inducted as a performer but will receive the hall’s Musical Excellence Award, which is decided by a committee of insiders (as opposed to the voting membership). The hall says the award is “given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.”

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the innovative production duo behind hits by Janet Jackson, New Edition, George Michael and Usher, also will receive the Musical Excellence Award. The Early Influence Award will be given to 95-year-old Harry Belafonte and the late Elizabeth Cotten.

Three veteran record executives — Interscope co-founder Jimmy Iovine, Sugar Hill co-founder Sylvia Robinson and lawyer Allen Grubman — will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award, a commendation named after the late Atlantic Records co-founder who started the Rock Hall with Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner in the mid-1980s.

November’s induction ceremony will be broadcast on SiriusXM satellite radio and will be taped for a special to be shown later on HBO and HBO Max. Beyond Jay-Z, last year’s performer inductees were Tina Turner, Foo Fighters, the Go-Go’s, Carole King and Todd Rundgren.