The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its larger list of 19 nominees who could take their place among music legends at the Cleveland-based museum next year.
The list, announced Tuesday, includes both newly eligible names and past nominees making a second go at recognition, sporting big names like Tupac Shakur, Pearl Jam, and Janet Jackson.
All nominees must have released their first work during or before 1991, as 25 years must pass before acts become eligible for induction. Voting for fans opened Tuesday and will close Dec. 6. The five most popular artists will make up a “fan ballot,” that will then be counted alongside the votes of 800 artists, historians, and music industry experts who make up the Hall of Fame’s member body.
This year’s list grew considerably from those of years past, when only 10 to 12 nominees were announced. But the Hall of Fame doesn't plan to increase the number of inductees this year, meaning it may be tougher to decide who makes the final cut.
“Voting in the past has been so close, the nominating committee wanted to be more inclusive and have more choices for fans and the voting body,” the Hall of Fame said in a statement.
First-time nominees include Pearl Jam, Shakur, Electric Light Orchestra, Depeche Mode, Joan Baez, Bad Brains, Steppenwolf, the Zombies, Jane’s Addiction, and Journey. Other nominees returning for consideration are Jackson, the J. Geils Band, Kraftwerk, Yes, Chic, Joe Tex, Chaka Khan, The Cars, and MC5.
This list, as has become typical for the Cleveland institution, boasts acts outside of the rock genre, and includes rap, electronic, and pop artists as well. Last year saw the induction of N.W.A, Steve Miller, Cheap Trick, Chicago, and Deep Purple.
Electronic acts like Kraftwerk, and now Depeche Mode, have received nods in the past, but haven’t made it into the Hall of Fame, even if those they’ve influenced, like Prince and Madonna, have.
“The nominees for 2017 suggest a decisive step forward for the Hall of Fame: It's finally embracing electronic music,” according to Business Insider. “It's very easy to connect the dots from Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode to trip-hop, dubstep, and the electronic music that suffuses nearly everything we listen to now.”
Even with an expanded nominee list, several eligible and popular artists failed to make the cut, including The Smashing Pumpkins, The Smiths, Mariah Carey, Soundgarden, The Cure, and Nine Inch Nails. But the Hall of Fame could always return to those acts and select them in later years now that they’re eligible, as it did with Deep Purple last year.
There is one change to note in this year's process: The Hall of Fame will name individual members when it inducts groups, and not everyone who’s been a part of the act will receive the honor. For example, Pearl Jam has had five drummers in its quarter-century stint, but only the current and founding drummers will be recognized if the band is inducted.
The Hall of Fame’s 2017 class will be inducted in April in New York City.