Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing will join his ex-bandmates when Priest accept the Award for Musical Excellence at the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony this November.
The influential English heavy metal band infamously overlooked for induction in years past still won’t be part of the hall’s Performer Class. But Priest will finally achieve Rock Hall recognition with the award established by the Ohio-based music museum in 2000 as the “Sideman” category. It became the Award for Musical Excellence 10 years later.
Regardless, artist celebrations at the Rock Hall often include former members of the lauded bands. Judas Priest’s commemoration will be no different, as bassist Ian Hill confirmed when asked about Downing’s possible participation this week.
To Metal Hammer on Friday (May 13), Hill Responded, “The rule as I understand it, is whoever has been with the band for 20 years. Richie [Downing’s replacement, guitarist Richie Faulkner] is sadly not being inducted, but really deserves to be as he’s been the driving force in the band for nearly 12 years now.”
The bassist also acknowledged former Judas Priest drummers such as Dave Holland, who “was in the band for a long time,” he said.
“Obviously, Ken [Downing] will be there,” Hill added. “[Drummer] Les Binks was with us all those years, as was Scott [Travis, another former drummer], so he’ll be part of the induction, too.”
Sidestepping if band members have talked to Downing directly, Hill added, “He’s spoken to management and said he will definitely be there. It should be good.”
Judas Priest had already hinted at Downing’s participation following the Rock Hall’s backhanded nod to the band with the Musical Excellence Award announcement on May 4.
“You’ve got to push aside anything that gets in the way,” singer Rob Halford said last week. “You’ve got to remove the emotional clutter and just reference this great celebration.”
Judas Priest have been eligible for induction for a quarter century, according to Rolling Stone. The band’s been included on the ballot three times in the past.
The Rock Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 performer inductees are Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis will also receive the 2022 Musical Excellence Award.
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