Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur lead nominees for Rock Hall of Fame

Eddie Vedder performs with Pearl Jam at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in New York on May 1, 2016.
Eddie Vedder performs with Pearl Jam at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in New York on May 1, 2016. PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK (NYTimes) - Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Jane's Addiction and Depeche Mode lead the latest crop of nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, raising the possibility of a sweep of 1980s and 90s nostalgia for an institution that has been criticised for its devotion to the baby boomer generation.

Of the 19 nominees announced by the Rock Hall on Tuesday, nine were getting their first nods, including Pearl Jam and Shakur in their first year of eligibility.

Given the speed with which rock gods of the MTV era have made the cut - Guns N' Roses (2012), Nirvana (2014) and Green Day (2015) were all admitted as quickly as the rules allowed - Pearl Jam would seem a safe bet. Shakur, who died in 1996, would become only the sixth hip-hop act to join the pantheon, after Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and N.W.A., which was inducted this year.

Jane's Addiction and Depeche Mode also received their first nominations, as did Bad Brains, the band whose furious speed spurred on the hardcore punk scene in Washington. The other first-time nominees are less cutting-edge choices: Journey, Electric Light Orchestra, Steppenwolf and Joan Baez.

Repeat nominees include Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, The Cars, The Zombies and MC5 (all on their second nods); Yes (its third); Kraftwerk and The J. Geils Band (fourth); Joe Tex (fifth); and Chic, which has now been nominated 11 times - more than any other act in the Hall of Fame's 31-year history. (Even Nile Rodgers, Chic's guitarist and leader, may have given up hope.)

The wave of fresh names comes after the Rock Hall was scolded by many critics for most of its recent class - Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple, Steve Miller and N.W.A. - which was heavy on the 1970s generation and included no women. And in an embarrassing sideshow, Miller made a series of complaints about the Rock Hall's handling of the ceremony, saying: "The whole process is unpleasant." That led to a quick disavowal by The Black Keys, who had given Miller's induction speech.

Artists become eligible for nomination 25 years after the release of their first recording. Inductees will be announced in December, and the 2017 ceremony will be held in April at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with excerpts to be broadcast by HBO.