Judas Priest is now part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2022, receiving this year's Musical Excellence Award.

Inductor Alice Cooper called them the "definitive metal band ... like an L.A. earthquake." Cooper later framed frontman Rob Halford's unique contributions as a vocalist: "Never have screams covered such a range. Is there any emotion that he can't express, a note that he can't hit – or one that he can't hold seemingly forever?"

Then there was Judas Priest's genre-defining look and twin-guitar attack: "They have attitude to spare – just look at them," Cooper argued. "The tens of millions of records they've sold says it all."

The band performed, then the other honorees spoke before Halford's speech. He stressed inclusion: "Everybody is welcome. People on the outside of heavy metal look at us and maybe they're scared, but we're all about power and dedication and the love of heavy metal.

"It's been that way for 50 years, and we wish we had 50 more," he added.

With Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing's dual guitars, Rob Halford's piercing screams and their instantly recognizable all-leather ensembles, Judas Priest was pivotal in the development of heavy metal's sound and aesthetic, with early-'80s albums such as British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance selling millions of copies and becoming cornerstones of the genre. They're now the third metal act to enter the Rock Hall, following Black Sabbath in 2006 and Metallica in 2009. 

"A bunch of guys from the U.K., from the West Midlands, a Birmingham band of heavy metal, is being inducted into this great institution," Halford earlier told UCR. "So we're gonna make the most of it and have a great night out and live a lot of metal memories."

Ozzy Osbourne, Tom Morello and Sebastian Bach were among those featured on an introductory video before Judas Priest performed.

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