The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced this year's nominees, and the list offers the hopeful prospect of an increasingly open definition of rock'n'roll. Hip-hop innovators N.W.A and Public Enemy both made the ballot in their first year of eligibility, the only acts to do so this year. As electronic dance music continues to conquer the U.S. music business, German techno-pop pioneers Kraftwerk are up for possible induction for the first time since 2003.
Plenty of rock acts are jockeying for a spot in the Rock Hall, led by first-time nominees Deep Purple and Rush. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Heart will vie for the Hall for their second time, too. But the ballot also includes return appearances from disco artists, namely Donna Summer, who died in May (hear her legacy in 15 tracks), and Chic, whose music would also fuel early rap.
The rest of the ballot is similarly diverse. There's Randy Newman, the sardonic singer-songwriter and Oscar-winning Disney soundtrack fodder-provider. New Orleans funk band the Meters, prog predecessors Procol Harum, blues guitarist Albert King, Motown girl group the Marvelettes, and Chicago blues rockers the Paul Butterfield Blues Band are also up for possible induction.
The 28th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for April 18, 2013, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. The 2012 inductees to the Rock Hall of Fame included Guns N' Roses, Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Cure, Eric B. & Rakim, Rufus with Chaka Khan, the Spinners, and War were on the ballot last year but missed the cut.
The nominations for Rush and Deep Purple end a spell of snubs for a couple of fan-beloved classic-rock acts. To be eligible, artists must have released their first single or album at least 25 years before nomination. This year's nominees had to have put out their first record by 1987. The ballots will now go to an international voting body of more than 600 "artists, historians, and members of the music industry," according to the Rock Hall, which has its museum in Cleveland.
For the first time, voting will also be open to the public. Until December 5, fans can vote at RollingStone.com, with the top five vote-getters earning a spot as a "fan's ballot." The move follows the recent opening of public voting to decide the 20 inaugural inductees into the fledgling, yet-to-be-built America's Pop Music Hall of Fame.