In what represents a rather varied group of inductees, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has chosen folk singer Joan Baez, British progressive rock band Yes, New York-born rapper Tupac Shakur, Seattle grunge band Pearl Jam, English pop-rock group Electric Light Orchestra and slick rock group Journey to join the institution for 2017.
In addition, Chic founding member, producer and guitarist Nile Rodgers will be inducted as an honoree for the hall’s award for musical excellence.
Four of the acts voted in by 900-plus voting members of the Rock Hall of Fame Foundation overlapped with the winners of the hall’s fan vote — Journey being the top pick of fans, followed by ELO, Yes, Pearl Jam and the only fan-selected act not to make the cut with the hall’s voters, Boston new wave band the Cars.
On the other hand, Shakur and Baez were held in low regard by music fans who participated in the voting — many commenting that they did not consider the rapper or the folk music luminary to be “rock ’n’ roll.”
Though Shakur was born in New York and built his career on the West Coast, he spent a portion of his youth in Baltimore. The rapper attended Dunbar High School and Baltimore School for the Arts in the '80s.
New member of Rock Hall will be welcomed in April 7 when the 32rd annual induction ceremony takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Tickets available to the public to attend will go on sale in January. As usual, the induction speeches and musical performances will be filmed for a highlights special scheduled to run subsequently on HBO.
Baez, ELO, Journey, Pearl Jam and Shakur appeared on the slate of final nominees for the first time this year, even though Baez, ELO and Journey had been eligible years ago under the hall’s requirement that 25 years elapse from the release of an artist’s first recording before they can be considered for induction.
Yes had made the list of finalists last year, in 2016 and 2014.
The rest of those who were on the final nominee list were Bad Brains, the Cars, Chaka Khan, Chic, Depeche Mode, Jane’s Addiction, Janet Jackson, J. Geils Band, Joe Tex, Kraftwerk, MC5, Steppenwolf and the Zombies.
Baltimore Sun staff contributed to this article.
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