Fans can now vote for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Rush in concert, 2004
Rush in concert, 2004 | Source

For the first time, fans can vote on who will be elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Normally, it’s just the artists, historians, and music industry insiders that decide who gets voted in. This year, the public can cast their ballots for five of the nominees they’d like to see inducted. The top five of that group will make up a “fans ballot” that will be included among the more than 600 ballots set to determine the Hall’s Class of 2013. To be eligible, the group or artist has to have released their first recording 25 years before the nomination. So, this year’s contenders needed to release their first recording in 1987 or earlier. Fans can cast their votes at Rolling Stone.com.

As for the nominees, seven acts appear for the first time on the ballot. Bluesman Albert King, UK rockers Deep Purple and Procol Harum, Motown girl group The Marvelettes, influential rap bands N.W.A. and Public Enemy,and Canadian rock trio Rush make up the list. 2013 contenders Heart, Joan Jett, and Donna Summer all were on last year’s Hall of Fame ballot as well.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2013 nominees:

Heart-Being voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would cap off quite a year for Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson. The sisters released a new studio album this week, “Fanatic”, to go with their career spanning box set, “Strange Euphoria” out since June. They received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame last month, and their autobiography,” Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll” has just been published.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts-Jett’s biggest solo success came in 1982 with the number one smash hit, “I Love Rock and Roll” followed by her covers of Tommy James and The Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover” and Gary Glitter’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)”. 1983 saw her release the singles “Fake Friends” and a cover of Sly and the Family Stone's “Everyday People”. Prior to that, she was part of the 1970’s all female band, The Runaways. In the 1990’s, female acts like L7 and Bikini Overkill cited Jett and The Runaways as a major influence on their music.

Albert King-Received his big career break in 1966 signing with Stax Records. He made the albums “Laundromat Blues” and “Born Under a Bad Sign” backed by Booker T. and the MG’s. While B.B. King has his Gibson Epiphone guitar dubbed Lucille, Albert King had his Gibson Flying V guitar called Lucy. Albert King was on the bill at the first Fillmore East concert on March 8, 1968 with Tim Buckley and Big Brother and the Holding Company.

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band- The group who backed up Bob Dylan in his first electric performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Later, the harmonica playing Butterfield was on the bill at Woodstock. Butterfield formed the Chicago based band in 1963 with two former members of blues legend Howlin’ Wolf’s group. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band also featured Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop (“Fooled Around and Fell in Love”) on guitar.

Rush- With the fans vote, you would think the Canadian trio would have a good shot at being inducted. They’ve never been a favorite of the critics, but in 1994, they were voted in to The Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Rush released their 19th studio album, "Clockwork Angels", in June 2012.

Procol Harum-I think Rush will take the “Prog Rock” votes away from Procol Harum, who are primarily known for their big, 1967 hit, “A Whiter Shade of Pale”.

Kraftwerk-The influential German electronic music group paved the way for acts like Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, OMD, New Order, and Human League, as well as the electroclash bands of the 2000’s.

The Marvelettes-They recorded Motown Records' first number one hit, “Please Mr. Postman” in 1961, later covered by The Beatles and The Carpenters. Their other singles included “Beechwood 4-5789”, “Too Many Fish in the Sea” and “Don’t Mess With Bill”. Former co-lead singer Gladys Horton passed away last year.



Donna Summer- It’ll be interesting to see if Summer’s passing will have an influence on her being inducted this year.

Chic-One of the top disco groups of the 1970’s led by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. They had number one US. Hot 100 singles with "Le Freak" (selling four million copies) and “Good Times” along other successful hits like “I Want Your Love” and “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)”. Rodgers went on to produce hit albums in the 1980’s for David Bowie, Madonna, and The B-52’s. The thing is I don’t know if both disco related acts, Donna Summer and Chic, will make it into the Hall of Fame in the same year. We’ll see.

Deep Purple- I think the fan vote will also play a role as to whether these U.K. pioneers of Heavy Metal are elected. “Smoke on the Water” and “Hush” are their most well known songs. Keyboardist Jon Lord passed away three months ago.

The Meters-The New Orleans funk band originally led by Art Neville of the Neville Brothers. The group performed on 1970’s recording sessions for Dr. John, LaBelle, Paul McCartney, and Robert Palmer. Their songs have been sampled by Run DMC and The Beastie Boys.

Randy Newman- He’s focused on film music the last several years. Still, his songs, “Short People”, “I Love L.A” , and ”It’s Money That Matters” are as biting as ever. Another of his tunes, 1983’s “Life Is Good”, had him meeting up with Bruce Springsteen at the Bel Air Hotel. In the lyrics, Springsteen asks Newman, "Rand, I'm tired. How would you like to be the Boss for awhile?" Newman also penned the song “Mama Told Me Not to Come”, recorded by Three Dog Night, Tom Jones, The Jackson 5, Wilson Pickett, and others.


Public Enemy-See below.

N.W.A.-As with Donna Summer and Chic primarily known for disco, I don’t think the Hall would vote in both pioneering rap acts, N.W.A. and Public Enemy, in the same year. If either is inducted, they would join Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Run-DMC, and the Beastie Boys as the only hip hop acts in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.



N.W.A.-Express Yourself (clean version)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on April 18, 2013 at L.A.’s Nokia Theater.

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