Janet Jackson, Cheap Trick, N.W.A., The Smiths, Nine Inch Nails, Yes, and Chicago were all among the nominees announced today for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. In all, 15 musical groups — including seven for the first time — were nominated by the Cleveland, OH-based organization. First-time nominations include Jackson, The Cars, Steve Miller, the J.B.’s (James Brown’s band in the ‘70s), Los Lobos, and Chaka Khan.
The honor comes at a particularly notable time for Jackson, who released her first record in seven years last week, and N.W.A., as the ground-breaking rappers were recently profiled in the hit biopic Straight Outta Compton. N.W.A., The Smiths, and Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails all landed a second nomination this year, though that’s no indicator that their names will be called.
“It’s a wide range,” said RRHOF CEO and president Joel Peresman to USA Today. “I always find that’s how it comes together, but it’s representative of different people’s definitions of rock.” He also noted that the nominations reflect a group’s musical influence, rather than how many records they’ve sold.
It’s certainly a welcome honor for Cheap Trick, who received their first nomination 15 years after the band was first eligible for the Hall (eligibility begins 25 years after a band’s first recording). The Rockford, IL-based five piece known for hits like Surrender, I Want You to Want Me, and Dream Police, have released 16 studio albums since their formation in 1973. While iconic classic rockers, they’ve been overlooked in favor of acts like Green Day, Joan Jett and The Faces (which included Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood) in recent years.
The inductees, which are selected by more than 800 artists, historians and music industry professionals, will be announced in December. The public can also participate in the process, casting votes at rockhall.com through December 9. The top five artists will make up a fans’ ballot, which counts as a single vote, according to USA Today.
The induction ceremony, which will be aired on HBO later next year, will be held in April in New York. Last year’s Hall of Fame inductees included Green Day, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bill Withers, Lou Reed, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.