Tupac Shakur, Janet Jackson head up Rock Hall of Fame nominees

Slain rapper Tupac Shakur, pop star Janet Jackson and protest singer Joan Baez were among 19 musicians nominated on Tuesday for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

British progressive rock band Yes, American rockers Pearl Jam, metal band Steppenwolf, English electronic band Depeche Mode, and funk singer Chaka Khan, were also included on the nominees list, which will be voted on by fans and music industry experts.

Artists must have released their first recording at least 25 years ago to be eligible for nomination. The names of the 2017 inductees will be announced in December once voting is complete.

Shakur was killed at age 25 in an unsolved 1996 drive-by shooting in Las Vegas that has only boosted his fame. The Harlem-born rapper, who sang about social inequity and black struggles, is regarded as one of the most influential voices in hip hop music, spurring the release of documentaries, movies and a Broadway musical.

Shakur’s nomination reflects the growing acceptance of rap as a force in mainstream music and follows the Hall of Fame induction in 2016 of California rappers N.W.A. as only the fifth hip hop act ever to be voted in.

Baez, 75, became a voice of protest in the tumultuous 1960s, becoming one of the first singers to promote the songs of Bob Dylan and singing at the 1969 Woodstock festival. Her performances of the traditional song “We Shall Overcome” in the early 1960s became the anthem of the civil rights movement.

Jackson, 50, the youngest child of the famed Jackson singing family, is one of the best-known pop singers in the world but is still waiting to be inducted after first becoming eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2007.

Other artists nominated include Bad Brains, Chic, Electric Light Orchestra, J. Geils Band, Jane’s Addiction, Joe Tex, Journey, Kraftwerk, MC5, The Cars, and The Zombies.

The inductees are chosen by fans and by an international body of some 800 artists, historians and members of the music industry who are asked to consider musical influence, innovation, and length and depth of career. 

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