Local Current Blog

2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees include Tupac Shakur, Pearl Jam, Chic (again)

Pearl Jam perform in New Zealand in 2014 (Jason Oxenham/Getty Images)

Sorry, Replacements fans: the local heroes aren’t on the ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017. Though they’re perennial hopefuls, their aspirations aren’t as longstanding as those of Chic — who set a record with their 11th ballot appearance.

This could be the year for Chic, as well as for nominees Tupac Shakur and Pearl Jam. Other big names on the ballot include Yes, Depeche Mode, and Electric Light Orchestra. Though no Minnesotans are nominated this year, honorary Minnesotan Janet Jackson is on the ballot. So is Joan Baez, whose own remarkable career became closely intertwined with Bob Dylan’s; and Chaka Khan, who was just in town for the big Prince tribute.

The Mats’ raveup spirit is perhaps best represented on the ballot by the raucous MC5 and classic rockers Steppenwolf. The Cars, who came out of Boston’s DIY scene to chart a series of huge hits in the ’80s, are also nominated. Filling out the ballot are Bad Brains, the J. Geils Band, Jane’s Addiction, Joe Tex, Journey, Kraftwerk, and the Zombies.

Since acts become eligible for the Hall 25 years after their debut release, artists who made their first big splash in the ’90s — like Shakur and Pearl Jam — are now eligible. This year, the Hall is also preemptively listing the specific band members who will be eligible for induction, hoping to stanch conflicts down the road.

Public voting on the nominees is now open, though public votes will add up to just one of over 800 ballots cast in the process of determining next year’s inductees.

This year’s induction ceremony proved contentious. Steve Miller used his acceptance speech to criticize the Hall for what he called its lack of transparency and inclusivity; while N.W.A. swiped at Gene Simmons, who had recently called for “the death of hip-hop.”