Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, the White Stripes and Cyndi Lauper are among the first-time nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, the organization behind the museum and annual ceremony announced on Wednesday.
Artists become qualified for induction 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording; both Elliott, the trailblazing rapper, and the White Stripes, the defunct garage-rock duo, made the ballot in their first year of eligibility. (Because of changes in when the nominating committee meets, the Rock Hall said releases from 1997 and 1998 were eligible this year for the first time.)
Nelson, who turns 90 in April, became eligible in 1987, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993. Last year, Dolly Parton at first protested her nomination, saying that she didn’t “feel that I have earned that right” as a country musician. (Voters disagreed, and she joined the Hall in November.) Crow, whose career began in the 1990s, has been eligible for several years, while Lauper, the singer behind hits like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” could have been nominated more than a decade ago.
Among the 14 nominees this year, other first-time picks include: George Michael, the English singer-songwriter who died in 2016; Joy Division, the English rock band that became New Order in 1980 after the death of the group’s frontman, Ian Curtis; and Warren Zevon, the singer-songwriter whose work was beloved by performers like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen and who died in 2003.
More than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry professionals will now vote on the nominees to choose the final class of inductees, which typically include between five and seven musicians or groups that have increasingly over recent years spanned a wider mix of genres: rap, country, folk, pop and more.
Will 2023 be the year for musicians who have been nominated repeatedly, to no avail? The politically minded group Rage Against the Machine is on the ballot for the fifth time. Kate Bush, whose song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” was resurgent on the charts last year after an appearance in the TV show “Stranger Things,” has been nominated three times before, as have the Spinners, one of the leading soul groups of the 1970s.
The hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, the heavy metal band Iron Maiden and Soundgarden, a rock band that was ascendant in the ’90s and lost its singer Chris Cornell in 2017, have all been nominated once before.
While an unnamed nominating committee within the Hall of Fame is in charge of choosing the slate of possible inductees, power now flips to the voters, and fans are also asked to weigh in online. (A single “fan ballot” is submitted as a result of those votes.)
The inductees will be announced in May, and the ceremony is slated to take place in the fall.