Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris discusses 2022 class and why Eminem’s music is ‘as hard hitting as any Metal song’

Plus, he touches on his excitement over Dolly Parton's induction
Greg Harris
Photo credit (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

It’s been nothing but love since the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2022 inductees were announced.

LISTEN: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame CEO Greg Harris chats with Taryn Daly

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame CEO Greg Harris joined Audacy’s Taryn Daly following the announcement of the class of 2022 inductees for a wide ranging conversation. For one, the reception to this year’s class has been nothing short of outstanding.

“The outpouring of love for these artists that have been inducted is just amazing,” Harris said. “A few of these artists that were selected this year, fans have been lobbying for for a while. [Now] they’ve gone over the top so it’s a good week.”

In the performer category, the class of 2022 inductees include Dolly Parton, Eminem, Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, and Carly Simon.

Harris then gave an interesting insight into a conversation he had with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford right before the big announcement. “I did speak with Rob (Halford) the eve of the announcement, and he was so gracious and so excited,” Harris recalled.

“He thought about the artists that impacted him when he was young. And he was talking about Little Richard and Chuck Berry and sort of the foundational pieces of Rock & Roll [that] has made him who he is today. We’re thrilled they’re in because there’s people who say the same thing about Judas Priest.”

Judas Priest, along with songwriter-producer duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, will both be inducted and honored this year with the Musical Excellence Award.

Harris also touched on Dolly Parton’s induction and reacted to her initial comments that she was removing herself from consideration before ultimately changing her mind and saying she’d “accept gracefully” if she found out she was inducted.

“It’s really great that she came to understand that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a much broader universe, that we come from R&B and Country, and people like Hank Williams and bluegrass great Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash are all in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” Harris said.

“And there’s plenty of songwriters in, and Dolly is all of that, and more. We love her humility (when) she was first holding back. And then she embraced it… It’s been a great journey and a chance for us for the world to better understand what we’re about. It doesn’t mean that we’re not in favor of Hard Rock -- we’re in favor of that too. We’re in favor of New Wave, we’re in favor of Punk Rock, we’re in favor of all of it and Dolly fits right in.”

The only artist to be inducted into the Rock Hall in their first year of eligibility this year was Eminem. Harris knows that Eminem comes from Hip Hop, but observed that he shares many of the same qualities of Rock artists that are already in the Hall.

“For a lot of years people asked about Hip Hop,” he exclaimed. “He’s the 10th artist to be sort of categorized that way. But (if) you listen to his music, it is as hard hitting and straight ahead as any metal song.”

He added, “it’s a chest punch with a message and with a power and with a rhythm.”

The 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on November 5.

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