Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine are each nominated in their first year of eligibility, having put out commercial work in 1992. Those bands also follow a spate of inductions for the leading rock groups of the MTV ’90s, including Guns N’ Roses (2012), Nirvana (2014), Green Day (2015) and Pearl Jam (2017). Ms. Simone, nominated posthumously for the first time, on the other hand, has been eligible since 1986; her modern profile has been raised of late with the release of a documentary, “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” in 2015, and a feature film, “Nina,” starring Zoe Saldana, last year.
Though Radiohead’s odds for induction seem strong — longevity, influence and innovation are all considered — members of the band expressed some ambivalence about the hall of fame in an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year. “I don’t care,” the guitarist Jonny Greenwood said. Ed O’Brien added, “It seems very showbiz.” And Thom Yorke said, “It wouldn’t be the first place …” before stopping himself. “I always put my foot in my mouth,” he said.
Inducted living artists are typically expected to be present and perform at the ceremony, scheduled for April 14, 2018, at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland. Excerpts from the show will be broadcast later by HBO.
As for snubs, Janet Jackson is back off the ballot after two consecutive nominations; Jane’s Addiction and Bad Brains, voted on for the first time last year, are gone again; and the Smiths, twice nominated, were skipped. Eligible since 2011, Soundgarden, whose lead singer Chris Cornell died earlier this year, has never been nominated despite the recognition of some of its grunge peers.
The funk band Chic, which has a record 11 failed nominations, is also absent, a year after its creative engine, Nile Rodgers, was given something of a consolation prize in the form of the Rock Hall’s award for musical excellence.