By Evangeline Ovwighotu
Rapper Tupac Shakur, singer Janet Jackson, grunge-rock band Pearl Jam, pioneering German electronic-rock group Kraftwerk and alternative-rock outfit Jane’s Addiction top an expanded slate of 19 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Among first-time candidates that appear on the ballot are British rock group Depeche Mode, American punk band Bad Brains, English pop-rock band Electric Light Orchestra, folk-music maven Joan Baez, slick rock band Journey and ‘60s heavy rock group Steppenwolf.
Previous nominees under consideration include the Cars, Chaka Khan, Jackson, the J. Geils Band, Joe Tex, Detroit proto-punk group MC5, English rock group the Zombies, disco pioneers Chic and English prog-rock band Yes.
Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after releasing their first single or album. Votes will be cast by more than 800 artists, historians, critics and other music-industry professionals, including this writer.
The public can cast votes online, from today at 10 a.m. through Dec. 5 at rockhall.com. The top five artists selected by the public will comprise a “fans’ ballot,” which will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2017 inductees. Fans must log in with a Facebook account or email to vote and can cast one ballot per day.
However, it is unlikely the fan votes will tilt the election in any nominees’ favor, since — as in previous years — their votes will account for only 1 percent of the total tally.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2017 inductees will be announced in December. The induction ceremony and performances will be held for the second consecutive year at Barclays Centre in Brooklyn in April and will be televised at a later date by HBO. Ticket on-sale information will be announced at a later date.