Eight of the 15 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – including Chicago, Cheap Trick, the Cars, Janet Jackson and Los Lobos – are on the ballot for the first time.
The nominees were announced at 1 a.m. Thursday.
This year’s slate also includes four-time nominees N.W.A., which might gain momentum because of the current hit biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” and 10-time nominees Chic.
Other repeat nominees are Deep Purple (three), the Smiths (two), the Spinners (three), Nine Inch Nails (two) and Yes (two).
Chaka Khan is nominated for the first time as a solo artist, though her group Rufus was previously nominated, and the same is true for Steve Miller, who had been previously nominated with the Steve Miller Band.
The JBs, Hall of Famer James Brown’s backup band, are also nominated for the first time.
To be eligible, an act must have released its first album at least 25 years ago – or in 1990 or earlier.
About 800 people vote, including music industry professionals, critics and Hall of Fame members. I am a longtime voter.
Although the process isn’t transparent, typically six to eight nominees on the ballot are elected and then one to three are inducted in non-performer and lifetime achievement categories, which apparently are chosen by a Rock Hall of Fame committee.
There is a public vote but it has minimal impact on the final results.
Here are some predictions:
Very good chance of getting inducted: N.W.A., Janet Jackson, Cheap Trick, the Cars, Los Lobos.
Fair chance: Smiths, Nine Inch Nails, Steve Miller, Chicago, Yes, Chaka Khan.
Longshot: JBs, Spinners, Deep Purple, Chic.
Inductees will be announced in December, with inductions in April in New York.