The ballot for this year’s nominees for the 2015 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame “represents a broad, diverse group of artists and demonstrates how rock ‘n’ roll has evolved over the years,” says Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Included on the list are Green Day, The Smiths, Nine Inch Nails and Bill Withers, all as first time nominees. The Motown girl group The Marvelettes, blues singer and guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn, Dr. Dre’s hip-hop collective N.W.A., and the German electronic band Kraftwerk are also among the first timers and demonstrate the versatility of rock ‘n’ roll that Peresman is talking about.
While many of the remaining nominees have appeared on previous ballots, all the bands and artists on the list are made eligible for this year’s ballot by having released their first single or album twenty-five years ago in 1989 or earlier. Seven hundred artists, historians and music-industry professionals will determine who the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees will be, and for the third consecutive year in a row, the public can participate in the process by casting votes through December 9th at USA TODAY, Rolling Stone and the official Rock Hall site. The public’s top five artists will make up a fans’ ballot, which counts as a single vote.
Several strong contenders are Lou Reed, the Smiths, and Nine Inch Nails. Despite the fact that Reed was inducted with the Velvet Underground, his death last fall is still fairly fresh for fans, and his individual nomination reflects the significance of his solo career. Although the Smiths had disbanded long ago, their recent public exposure with singer Morrissey’s album, illness and canceled tour dates put them more in the public eye as well, while Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has recently co-written popular film scores (Gone Girl and The Social Network). The list of nominees includes: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Bill Withers, Chic, Dr. Dre’s N.W.A., Green Day, Joan Jett and the Black Hearts, Kraftwerk, Lou Reed, The Marvelettes, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths, The Spinners, Sting, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Those who receive the most votes will be announced at the end of the year. Inductees will be initiated in a ceremony on April 18th, 2015 in the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, Ohio.