NEW YORK (AFP) - "Queen of Pop" Janet Jackson and trailblazing Mexican American rockers Los Lobos received their first nominations on Thursday (Oct 8) to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
They will face a field that includes previous nominees such as The Smiths, the 1980s Manchester band whose moody romanticism helped create the indie rock scene, and gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A., recently the focus of a Hollywood blockbuster.
An unspecified number of winners will be announced in December and inducted in April at a ceremony in New York, although the museum is based in Cleveland.
Jackson, the sister of "King of Pop" Michael Jackson, became a superstar in her own right with her 1986 album "Control" that brought the edginess of the then-emerging genre of hip-hop to her R&B roots.
Jackson, whose elaborate dance routines and social consciousness strongly influenced younger artists such as Beyonce, last week released her first album in seven years, "Unbreakable," which is a favourite to debut at number one.
Los Lobos, which means "the wolves" in Spanish, emerged in East Los Angeles in the 1970s as one of the original Latin crossover acts, bringing "nortenos" and other Mexican styles to US rock 'n' roll.
Best known for a 1987 cover of Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba," Los Lobos released a new album last month that reflects on the US immigrant experience and their own ageing.
Other first-time nominees include two classic bands from the Midwestern state of Illinois: Chicago, who built off the jazz tradition of their namesake city to become soft-rock sensations, and Cheap Trick, the power rockers who packed arenas and won a particular following in Japan with anthems such as "Surrender." Another Chicago native, Chaka Khan, was nominated for the first time. The 62-year-old "Queen of Funk" has been eclectic throughout her career, pursuing rock, hip-hop, jazz and soul along with her trademark genre.
Also receiving their first nods are Steve Miller, who developed a psychedelic blues style that took from American roots music; The Cars, who helped define the 1980s New Wave by bringing synthesizers into classically structured pop tunes; and, in perhaps the least expected nomination, The J.B.'s, originally the back-up band for funk legend James Brown, who was inducted on his own in 1986.
To be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an artist needs to have released a recording at least 25 years ago, which would mean 1990.
The new inductees will be determined by a ballot of more than 800 historians, musicians or industry players, with an online vote by fans accounting for one ballot.