When the list of nominated artists for the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was released this morning, there were a few surprises. This year saw 15 nominees, whereas in past years, the voters had to choose from 12 nominations. Also surprising was the number of repeat nominees, and the fact that all of the nominees were eligible for inclusion in previous years. We won’t know the official inductees until later on this year, but as for now, here are the nominees, listed in the order of who’s most likely to succeed.
Beastie Boys: One of the first rap groups to experience mainstream popularity, the Beastie Boys racked up many hits throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. What’s more rock ‘n’ roll than the phrase, “You’ve gotta fight, for your right, to party!”?
Darlene Love: A former member of the Blossoms and the Crystals, she has had a wide-ranging career, but is best known for the Christmas standard “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.
Alice Cooper: Considered to be shocking by ‘60s and ‘70s audiences, this heavy-metal rocker/entertainer has influenced many modern acts. He stills records and tours, most recently making an appearance on the season finale of American Idol.
Bon Jovi: It is almost unheard of for a rock band to be together as long as they have, but they have the hit singles and multi-platinum albums to stand the test of time. With a greatest hits album on the way, the group is a likely contender.
Chuck Willis: “The King of the Stroll”, he was the original artist behind the legendary hit “C.C. Rider”. His successful career lasted less than a decade due to his tragic death from a hospital infection.
Dr. John: Mostly known for the hit “Right Place, Wrong Time”, he is a genre-crossing bluesman who has had an active career for over 50 years. Recently, he performed a version of “Down in New Orleans” for Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.
Donovan: The “Sunshine Superman” and “Mellow Yellow” hitmaker’s name is synonymous with ‘60s psychedelic pop.
LL Cool J: One of the first rappers to find longtime mainstream success, he is currently in the spotlight for his crossover into the acting business.
Donna Summer: Previously nominated, she is “The Queen of Disco”. The first female artist to have four No.1 singles in a 13-month period, her albums have gone multi-platinum.
J. Geils Band: The group had many infamous hits in the ‘80s, (“Centerfold”, “Love Stinks, “Freeze Frame”) and were well known for their trendy music videos.
Laura Nyro: The songs she has written are more famous than her performances of them. “And When I Die” (Blood, Sweat, & Tears) and “Wedding Bell Blues” (The 5th Dimension) are some of her original compositions, but she also released many albums containing her own renditions.
Tom Waits: Also mostly known for other artists’ covers of his songs, he is well loved by critics and other musicians.
Chic: Nominated many times, this disco group is best known for “Le Freak” and “Good Times”. Two of its original members, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers were a successful writing team who worked with Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Carly Simon, and others.
Neil Diamond: His fans have ardently campaigned for an induction for a long time. Will this be the year that the “Sweet Caroline” and “Cherry, Cherry” balladeer gets in the Hall?
Joe Tex: An early pioneer of rapping, he is mostly known for a slew of R&B hits (“The Love You Save”, “Skinny Legs And All”, “Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)”) that has been covered by a multitude of artists.