Folk, new wave, hip-hop, R&B, rap-rock, heavy metal and good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll are among the many genres (and subgenres) represented by the latest shortlist of nominees for induction into the ever-broadening Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Stevie Nicks (already an inductee as a member of Fleetwood Mac), Def Leppard, John Prine, Roxy Music, Devo and Todd Rundgren are the first-time nominees for the 2019 class, it was announced on Tuesday, joining a more diverse selection of returning acts who have not made the final cut, including Janet Jackson, Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine.
The rapper LL Cool J was nominated for a fifth time, and would become the seventh hip-hop act inducted, the first since Tupac Shakur in the class of 2017. Others who have been passed over before and were granted another chance: Kraftwerk (four previous nominations); MC5 (three); the Zombies (three); Rufus featuring Chaka Khan (two); and the Cure (one).
A mostly opaque nominating committee decides on the Rock Hall shortlist every year; artists become eligible for nomination 25 years after the release of their first recording. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry figures who consider “an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique,” the Rock Hall said. A fan ballot will also be available online and in person at the Rock Hall’s museum in Cleveland.
The final list of inductees, which typically number five artists, is announced in December. The 2019 induction ceremony is scheduled for March 29 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Excerpts from the show will be broadcast later by HBO and SiriusXM radio.
In recent years, the Rock Hall has expanded its definition of rock ’n’ roll following criticism about its lack of racial, gender and artistic diversity. This year’s inductees included two black women — Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who received the Award for Early Influence — although no living women or people of color were featured. Bon Jovi, the Cars, Dire Traits and the Moody Blues rounded out the group.
Of the 15 new nominees, three acts are led by women and four prominently feature people of color.