Rock and roll may have left popular music years ago, but its influence still remains. Each year since 1986, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, located in Cleveland, inducts approximately five to seven musical artists who have influenced and developed the history of rock into the Rock Hall in the Performer category. In addition to musical influence, the induction board examines artists’ “length and depth of career and the body of work,” as well as “innovation and superiority in style and technique,” according to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website. Because of the Rock Hall’s dedication to honoring artists with enduring musical legacies, artists only become eligible 25 years after releasing their first commercial recording.
In October, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s nominating committee selected 15 nominees for the class of 2019. Of these, nine have been previously nominated: Janet Jackson, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, MC5, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, The Cure and The Zombies. The six first-time nominees are Def Leppard, Devo, John Prine, Roxy Music, Stevie Nicks and Todd Rundgren.
Both Kraftwerk and LL Cool J have been on the ballot five times, and both MC5 and The Zombies have been nominated three years in a row. The Zombies have been eligible the longest — since 1989 — and Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine only became eligible in 2017. Of special note is first-time nominee Todd Rundgren, who performed at Notre Dame this September as part of the “Play Like a Champion Concert: Students Play the ’80s,” and was also Notre Dame’s artist-in-residence for 10 days in 2016. Nominees’ bios and their recommended playlists are available at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website.
The induction board consists of more than 1,000 rock historians, renowned artists and living Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. However, the Rock Hall also invites the public to participate in the induction process, with the top five artists chosen by fans comprising one ballot that will be included among the others in determining the inductees. You can vote for your favorite artists once per day atwww.rockhall.com/vote until Dec. 9.
Other induction categories include the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which recognizes non-performers who significantly impacted rock and roll; Early Influences, which celebrates artists who influenced music prior to rock and roll; the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Award for Musical Excellence, which honors songwriters and producers who have influenced rock and roll throughout their lives by creating timeless music; and, introduced in 2018, The Singles, which acknowledges songs instrumental in the history of rock and roll.
Inductees will be announced in December, and typically attend the induction ceremony where they receive their Hall of Fame award from an artist whom they influenced and are honored by speeches detailing their music achievement, in addition to giving an acceptance speech.
The 2019 induction ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center in New York City on March 29.