In recent years, the Rock And Rock Hall Of Fame And Museum has made a push to diversify and acknowledge the breadth of musical variety that has influenced and been influenced by the history of rock and roll. Of course, calling this progress “baby steps” would be to disparage the good name of infants making progress in their mobility; as we noted earlier this year, the museum’s entire “history of rap” exhibit takes up roughly the same amount of space as that dedicated to Eddie Van Halen’s guitars. Nonetheless, this year’s nominees for the Rock Hall Of Fame represent a broad swath of musical styles, helping alleviate the bias toward long-haired white guys making O-faces while tapping a guitar while ensuring the term “rock music” will be increasingly vague and indefinable to future generations.
As The New York Times notes, there are a number of first-time nominees being tapped for possible induction this year, including Janet Jackson, The Cars, Chicago, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, The J.B.s, Los Lobos, and that famed rock ’n’ roller, Chaka Khan. (Who frankly should have an entire museum dedicated to just her, but hey, baby steps.) Artists become eligible for induction into the Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first record, but this year’s newbies are clearly all well past that particular sell-by date. Still, this should go some way toward satisfying the angry collective known as Why Isn’t Cheap Trick In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?
Returning acts getting another chance at induction include two-time nominees Nine Inch Nails, three-time nominees Deep Purple, and—with the kind of always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride determination that only Susan Lucci could truly understand—disco band Chic earns a record tenth nomination. Other repeating nominees include The Smiths, Yes, and The Spinners. However, the multiple nominee that seemed poised for victory this year, after receiving its fourth nomination, is N.W.A., a group that is having the kind of culturally relevant year most acts old enough to be eligible for induction could only dream of. The honorees for the 2016 ceremony will be announced in December, with the awards show following in April. We’ll just go ahead and call it now: You’re going to see N.W.A. at the podium next year, and the surviving members of Chic are going to be angrily watching from their couches at home.