The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the nominees for their 2018 class. This year’s slate marks the second year in a row that the Hall has nominated 19 acts.
This year’s long-list includes several first time nominees, including multiple artists whose inductions have long been desired by music fans. They are: Bon Jovi, Kate Bush, The Cars, Depeche Mode, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, The J. Geils Band, Judas Priest, LL Cool J, MC5, The Meters, The Moody Blues, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Link Wray and The Zombies.
To be eligible for nomination to the Hall, an artist must have released their first recording – single or album – no later than 25 prior to the year of nomination. For the 2017 class, this means artists who debuted in 1991 are eligible for the first time; Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine are the only two newly eligible acts to make the ballot this year.
With Chic now absent from the list following Nile Rodgers’ solo induction last year, the artist with the most nominations on this year’s ballot is The J. Geils Band, who have been on the list five times now. The band joins The Cars, Depeche Mode, the MC5 and The Zombies as the only returning nominees from last year’s slate. Chaka Khan, who was also nominated last year, is here again as well, but is listed with her 1970s funk group Rufus instead of as a solo artist. Four other acts have returned to the ballot having been nominated once before: Bon Jovi (last nominated in 2011), LL Cool J (his fourth appearance), The Meters (also on their fourth appearance) and Link Wray (last nominated in 2014)
The remaining nine acts on the list are first-time nominees that have been eligible for several years, and range in genre and style from art-rock singer-songwriter Kate Bush to metal icons Judas Priest to versatile jazz singer Nina Simone. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a gospel and folk guitarist considered to be a major influence in the development of rock and roll, has been eligible for the Hall since its first class in 1986. She has long been a highly requested nominee by industry experts and Rock Hall watchers, but it was long expected that her due would come with an Early Influences induction and not a main artist nomination. Likewise, The Moody Blues have long been a highly desired Rock Hall nominee, with their intensely devoted fanbase holding petitions, letter writing campaigns and passionate comment section debates for decades. This is the first time that the prog-rock pioneers have made the long-list.
The inductees are chosen from this list by a group of voters that includes music journalists, recording industry executives and past Hall inductees. As with past years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has also offered a “fan ballot” in which regular music fans can vote for five artists on a single ballot. Although this fan ballot is counted as a single ballot among hundreds, the top-voted act has coincidentally been inducted each year since its introduction.
For more information on the 19 nomination and to vote in the fan ballot, visit the Rock Hall’s landing page for this year’s longlist. You can listen to a Spotify playlist featuring music from all of the nominees below.