The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has revealed the list of nominees for induction into its 2019 cohort. Def Leppard, Devo, Janet Jackson, John Prine, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, MC5, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Roxy Music, Stevie Nicks, the Cure, Todd Rundgren, Rufus and Chaka Khan and the Zombies are all in consideration for the historic honour.
Artists become eligible for selection 25 years after the release of their first record. An international voting committee of more than 1,000 artists, historians and members of the music industry will select five or six of these acts for induction into the Hall of Fame. Fans are also eligible to vote: the top five artists selected by the public will be tallied along with the committee’s votes.
Radiohead were among 2018’s potential inductees, but declined to attend the ceremony. The band’s guitarist, Ed O’Brien, said at the time: “As a British band, it’s one of those things that it’s very lovely to be nominated, but we don’t quite culturally understand it. It’s a very American thing. Us Brits are very bad at celebrating ourselves.”
It is likely to be welcome news to Def Leppard. In 2017, guitarist Phil Collen said it was “pathetic” that the English heavy metal band had yet to be nominated for the award. “We’re a rock band that sold 100 million albums, most of them, actually, in America,” Collen told Blabbermouth. “We’re a real rock band, we’ve been together for 30, or nearly 40 years, and the fact that that’s not recognised is kind of a bit weird.”
LL Cool J was also nominated for the 2018 list. If the New York rapper is selected for the 2019 group, he will be the seventh hip-hop act to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, following Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, NWA and Tupac Shakur.
If Stevie Nicks makes the 2019 class, it will mark her second induction to the Hall of Fame. She is a member of Fleetwood Mac, who were inducted in 1998. She would become the first woman to be inducted more than once. As of 2017, 22 male performers had been inducted twice or more, with Eric Clapton receiving three inductions – as a solo artist, with Cream and with the Yardbirds.
The Zombies have been nominated multiple times. In 2017, keyboardist Rod Argent told Billboard that the psychedelic band would be “flattered, gratified and absolutely delighted” to be inducted. “I know there are some people that actually portray themselves as unaffected and don’t care and, ‘Oh, well, it would be nice, but, really I don’t get it. It’s not something that I particularly want.’ We’re not those people at all.”
There are likely to be complaints from the US about the Hall’s perceived snubs – artists including Björk, Kate Bush, Roberta Flack, Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode, the Monkees and Chic are considered overdue for induction. The ceremony holds great significance in the American music industry, but does not command similar significance in the UK.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame organisation was established by the late Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun in 1983. The museum opened in Cleveland, Ohio in 1986. That year, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Elvis Presley became the first inductees. Aretha Franklin became the first female inductee in 1987. In 2018, Bon Jovi, the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues and Nina Simone were selected for induction.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2019 induction ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on 29 March.