- READ MORE: Judas Priest’s Rob Halford: “I tried to throw a TV out of a hotel window once. It was like Mr Bean does Spinal Tap”
The influential English heavy metal band will accept the Award for Musical Excellence at this year’s ceremony. The award was first established in 2000 as the “Sideman” category; it became the Award for Musical Excellence 10 years later.
Rock Hall inductions often include former members of the bands being celebrated. Judas Priest’s commemoration will be no different, as bassist Ian Hill has confirmed that Downing, who left the band in 2011 citing differences with the band and management, will participate.
“The rule as I understand it, is whoever has been with the band for 20 years,” Hill told Metal Hammer. “Richie [Faulkner, Downing’s replacement] 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.”
“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.”
He also acknowledged former Judas Priest drummers such as Dave Holland, who “was in the band for a long time,” he said.
Asked if any of the band had spoken to Downing, Hill responded: “He’s spoken to management and said he will definitely be there. It should be good.”
In a recent interview with Billboard, frontman Halford spoke of the band’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nomination – which marks their third overall. The frontman described the nomination as “a blessing” and “a rush”.
“This year’s selection… it’s crazy,” he said. “My mind’s going, ‘I must do a duet with Dolly Parton! I must do a duet with Kate Bush!’ If Lionel [Richie] and Priest get in, I think we’ll both be dancing on the ceiling together.”
This year’s Rock & Roll Hall of fame performer inductees include Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar and Carly Simon. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis will also receive the 2022 Musical Excellence Award.