The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2019 nominees on Tuesday, and in what has become an annual tradition, the list came with the Hall’s usual heap of opacity and a dash of acrimony.
One nominee has already been inducted, two are receiving their fifth nominations, and one previously said it would decline the honor before changing its, ahem, tune on Tuesday morning.
In alphabetical order, this year’s nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are:
- The Cure (second nomination)
- Def Leppard (first nomination)
- Devo (first nomination)
- Janet Jackson (third nomination)
- John Prine (first nomination)
- Kraftwerk (fifth nomination)
- LL Cool J (fifth nomination)
- MC5 (fourth nomination)
- Radiohead (second nomination)
- Rage Against the Machine (second nomination)
- Roxy Music (first nomination)
- Rufus & Chaka Khan (third nomination)
- Stevie Nicks (already an inductee with Fleetwood Mac, but first solo nomination)
- Todd Rundgren (first nomination)
- The Zombies (fourth nomination)
To be nominated, groups or artists must have released their first commercial recording 25 years or more prior. Each year’s inductees are decided by “more than 1,000 [previous] inductees, historians and members of the music industry, as well as the aggregate results of the Rock Hall’s online fan vote,” the Rock Hall explains on its website.
This year’s list includes just three women, one of whom, Stevie Nicks, was already inducted as a part of Fleetwood Mac. Three notable premier nominations are Roxy Music, Def Leppard and John Prine — the latter of whom could be considered a shoo-in, given his advancing age, prolific output and the high esteem in which he is held by many of his peers.
The Hall’s nominations-first, inductees-second announcement strategy is of course a purposeful one, for at least two reasons. It generates a lot of publicity (for example, the piece you’re reading right now) and it allows its voting members to take the public’s temperature on its possible inductees before casting their deciding ballots, giving it a measure of control over its public reputation. It’s a win-win, with no “real” losers.
Except, that is, for those who put little stock in the whole shebang — even they are nominees, as Def…
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