Randy Rhoads posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as Kirk Hammett, Tom Morello and Zakk Wylde pay tribute

Randy Rhoads
(Image credit: Fin Costello/Redferns)

Late Ozzy Osbourne legend Randy Rhoads has been posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The recipient of the Musical Excellence Award – which is given to “artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence have had a dramatic impact on music” – Rhoads was inducted into the hallowed Rock Hall by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello during the 2021 ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday (October 31).

Appearing via video message, Morello paid tribute to the late guitarist. “Randy Rhoads is a peerless talent,” he said. “He revived Ozzy Osbourne's career as his gunslinger sideman. And it was Randy Rhoads' poster that I had on my wall. You could study Randy's songs in a university-level musicology class and bang your heads to them in a 7-Eleven parking lot.”

He continued: “When it comes to musical excellence, there is no-one more deserving of the highest echelon of recognition and praise. Now the incomparable Randy Rhoads stands where he belongs.”

Shortly after Rhoads' induction into the Rock Hall was announced earlier this year, Ozzy Osbourne said that he was “so happy [his] genius [was] finally being recognized”.

“I only wish he was here in person to get this award and that we could all celebrate together,” Ozzy told Premiere Radio Networks’ Sal Cirrincione. “It's really great that Randy's family, friends and fans get to see him honored this way.”

Metallica's Kirk Hammett and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde also offered tributes during the ceremony. Hammett said, via video message: “All of a sudden, the curtain came down unexpectedly and the show was over before it really, really got going.”

Wylde added that “Randy, hands down, sits at” the table of guitar greats at the Hall of Fame alongside Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eddie Van Halen and Eric Clapton.

Passing in 1982 at the age of just 25, Randy Rhoads' career was short-lived, but had a lasting impact on generations of guitarists to come. During his tenure with Ozzy Osbourne, he appeared on two of the singer's most notable studio albums – Blizzard of Ozz (1980) and Diary of a Madman (1981).

The full list of 2021 Rock Hall inductees – which the organization describes as the “most diverse” in its history – includes Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go's, JAY-Z, Foo Fighters, Todd Rundgren, Kraftwerk, Charley Patton, Gil Scott-Heron, LL Cool J, Billy Preston, Randy Rhoads and Clarence Avant.

Last month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced an exhibit showcasing items associated with this year's inductees, including Randy Rhoads' iconic white Jackson Concorde, as well as an Ampeg Dan Armstrong guitar used heavily by Dave Grohl on stage, and a purple embroidered suit worn by Todd Rundgren during the filming of his live album, Back to the Bars.

The full Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on November 20. For more information, head to HBO.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.