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The 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees include stars who have made an indelible impact on American and Black music and culture, over the course of the last 10 decades or more. 

Just as there’s room for all of the many rock and pop artist that receive the honor, legendary musician Lionel Richie has also earned his spot. Referencing the soul singer as the “Marvin Gaye in a different era,” Rock Hall President and CEO Greg Harris says Richie is more than deserving of the recognition. 

“You have to look at his body of work, both with the Commodores and as a solo artist and how impactful and influential [he’s been],” Harris tells ABC Audio.

To help illustrate Richie’s impact, Harris says to just take a look at the many artists both of the ’80s and ’90s,  who have looked to Richie as influence, like Babyface and country singer Tim McGraw.

The same can be said for that of hip hop icon, Eminem, who will be inducted the earliest chance possible: his first year of eligibility. 

“I think the goal is to honor the hip hop artists that have had the most impact on music, right? And it doesn’t matter what era they’re from,” Harris said.

Receiving this year’s Musical Excellence Award is legendary duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who collectively, have produced hits for superstars such as Janet JacksonNew Edition and Mariah Carey.

Harry Belafonte will receive the Early Influence Award in addition to blues singer Elizabeth Cotten who will be recognized posthumously. Also receiving a posthumous award is R&B singer Sylvia Robinson, who will be honored with the Ahmet Ertegun Award– a special accolade presented to those whose music has made an impact on the creative development and growth of rock and roll music. 

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held November 5 at LA’s Microsoft Theater, and will air later on HBO and stream on HBO Max.

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