Watch Judas Priest’s acceptance speech at the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony

2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Hall of Fame the induction ceremony was special because there was finally some heavy metal representation: Judas Priest were the recipients of the Musical Excellence Award.

Although Priest was not one of the Rock Hall’s official Class of 2022 Inductees — which include Pat Benatar, Eminem, Dolly Parton, Duran Duran and a few others – the Musical Excellence Award is presented to “artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence in creating music has had a dramatic impact on music.” Additionally, they had the opportunity to perform at the event, which marked their first time playing with a former guitarist KK Downing and drummer Les Binks.

You can read about – and watch – their performance here.

The band was invited to the stage to accept the award, and during his introduction, Alice Cooper called Judas Priest the “definitive metal band”. He added (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):

They defined the sound we know of heavy metal and their sound is unmistakable. And what can you say about Rob Halford’s voice? Never have the screams covered such a range. Are there any feelings he can’t express? They electrify on stage and are one of the hardest hitting live bands in the history of rock’n’roll. PRIEST has carried the flag of hard rock and heavy metal proudly for something like 50 years, never wavering or following trends or pretending to be anything other than exactly what they are. They fly high tonight. Much deserved and long awaited.

During his acceptance speech, front man Rob Halford proudly declared “I’m the gay guy in the band” to deafening cheers. He continued:

You see, that’s what heavy metal is all about. We call ourselves the heavy metal community, which is all inclusive. So whatever your sexual identity is, what you look like, your skin color, the faith you believe in or don’t believe in. Everyone is welcome. People from the outside who look into heavy metal look at us a little scared. . . . We’re all about the power and the emotion and the dedication and the love of heavy metal that we’ve carried for 50 years. . . . We should be coming out for another 50 years, but the joy of music is that it lives forever. And that is why we are here. We live for heavy metal. We live for the music. And we live for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

You can watch some clips of their acceptance speech below.

During an interview over the summer Halford admitted that he had mixed feelings at first about the price, because it is not the “same title” that the other inmates get.

“I was a little mad,” the vocalist noted. “I was just a little bit like, ‘Well, Sabbath got this. So why can’t we have it?’ Not that I’m jealous of the Sabbath. I’m just talking about this mark that they give it. Why do they put these marks on the damned thing? Why don’t they say, “Welcome. You’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’ and leave it at that.”

However, he later noted that he’s glad they’re getting it regardless, and praised the Hall for finally acknowledging heavy metal again.

Congratulations to Judas Priest!

Judas Priest’s acceptance speech at the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony

Judas Priest in the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Related Posts