CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Thrice-nominated N.W.A. -- perhaps riding the success of the dramatized biopic "Straight Outta Compton'' –- headlines an eclectic list of nominees that's heavy on first-timers to be the members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
Fan favorites Chicago, Cheap Trick, the Cars, Deep Purple, Steve Miller, Nine Inch Nails, Yes and the Smiths also earned spots on the list of nominees. Rounding out the list announced under a 2 a.m. Thursday embargo by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are Chaka Khan, Chic, the JB's, Janet Jackson, Los Lobos and the Spinners.
Eight of the 15 nominees -- Chicago, Cheap Trick, the Cars, Chaka Khan, the JB's, Janet Jackson, Los Lobos and Steve Miller (who is nominated as a solo artist, not as part of the Steve Miller Band) -- are on the ballot for the first time.
The list also seems to pay heed in some manner to the hue and cry of fans over the exclusion of vintage bands from what many see as the golden age of rock 'n' roll.
The groundbreaking prog-rock band Yes, for example, has been eligible for enshrinement since 1994, yet has only one nomination on its resume. And now, even if they make the cut, it will be too late for founding member Chris Squire, the Yes bassist and only member of the band to appear on every album, who died of leukemia this year.
"The passion around this discussion is at the heart of what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame means to music fans,'' said Joel Peresman, president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in a statement issued by the Rock Hall announcing the nominations.
To be eligible for consideration, an artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to nomination, meaning the potential members of the Class of 2016 must have issued a first recording by 1990.
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