Rob Halford Was ‘Pissed’ About Rock Hall Musical Excellence Award
Judas Priest's 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction served as a moment of vindication for the band and its long-suffering fans — but Rob Halford still has mixed feelings about how they're entering the institution.
The band will receive this year's Musical Excellence Award, which is "given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music," according to the Rock Hall's website. This year's performer class, meanwhile, comprises Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, Carly Simon, Eminem, Dolly Parton and Lionel Richie.
Halford was initially displeased by Priest's exclusion from the performer class. "Well, yeah, I was pissed. I was a bit pissed," he told AZ Central. "At the end of the day, does it matter? Some days, I go, 'No, it doesn't matter. We're in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Be grateful. Shut the hell up.'
"And then there are other days where I'm like, 'Goddamn, why did they give us the Musical Excellence Award?'" the singer continued. "Because it sounds very, you know, grandiose. 'The Musical Excellence Award, reserved for blah, blah, blah.'"
Judas Priest is only the third proper metal act to join the Hall of Fame behind Black Sabbath and Metallica, excluding classic hard-rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. It was not lost on Halford that Black Sabbath was inducted into the performer category.
"I just felt a little bit like, 'Well, Sabbath got this. So why can't we have that?'" he mused. "Not that I'm jealous of Sabbath. I'm just talking about this tag that they give it. Why do they put these tags on the damn thing? Why don't they go, 'Welcome. You're in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame' and leave it at that?"
Acknowledging that it's "silly, but it's just frustrating," Halford lamented that he still feels like Judas Priest is "one step away" from the Rock Hall induction they deserve. "And on the other side, it's like, 'Great. Everybody else got that and we got shafted with this,'" he joked. "Judas Priest are still the Rodney Dangerfield of heavy metal. They can't get no respect."