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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Which nominees will make it in this year?

Nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year include Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, and Janet Jackson. Some nominees, like Chic, have appeared on the list before.

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    Janet Jackson accepts the ultimate icon: music dance visual award at the BET Awards in 2015.
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Nominees for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year include singer Janet Jackson, the bands Chicago and Cheap Trick, and singer Steve Miller.

Other possibilities for induction include Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A., Deep Purple, Chic, the Cars, Chaka Khan, Los Lobos, The J.B.’s, Yes, the Smiths, and the Spinners.

Wondering why your favorite wasn’t included? One reason may be that acts need to have released a single or album during the year 1990 or before then. Later acts are not eligible yet.

Recommended: The 25 best musicians of the Rock era

Voting will take place from now until early December and those who made the cut will be inducted in April of next year. 

Many of those who have become nominees are appearing as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame possibilities for the first time, including the Cars, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, and Chicago. Some industry watchers viewed the inclusion of Jackson, who was nominated for the first time, as a surprise. 

Last year, acts including Ringo Starr, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Green Day, and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were inducted.

Musicians that have not been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and who are often brought up as artists worthy of the honor include singer Whitney Houston, the band The Cure, singer Dolly Parton, and The Smiths, who could make the cut this year. 

Chic is a frequent nominee, so it will be interesting to see whether the band is inducted this time. 

N.W.A. has been nominated before and, if included, will be one of the few rap acts to make the cut. Run-D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys have made it in previously.

Various acts that have been inducted have been criticized by rock fans as not fitting the definition of “rock and roll.” One example is the group Abba, which was inducted in 2010. Abba member Benny Andersson himself told Rolling Stone, “I didn't think this would happen, because we were a pop band, not a rock band.”

Ken Zambello, who is a voting member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and teaches a history of rock music course at Berklee College of Music, says of those who question whether acts like N.W.A. should be included that the hall has already brought in musicians who work in different genres. "It's a pretty wide variety already," he says of those in the Hall, pointing out that Madonna has been inducted.

So who will make it this year? "Deep Purple and Yes probably have a reasonable chance this time around," Mr. Zambello says. "Chicago is pretty well-deserving."

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