The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were announced on Tuesday (Oct. 18) and saw first-time nominations for artists such as Electric Light Orchestra, Tupac Shakur and Pearl Jam, while artists like Chic, Chaka Khan and J. Geils Band returned to the list of finalists with hopes of finally entering the elite Hall in 2017.
Some are hoping the third time’s the charm, while others just appreciate the recognition. Check out what some of the Hall of Fame prospects had to say about their nominations to Billboard and on social media.
This year sees the first nomination for the pioneering Washington, D.C. hardcore band. “That was a surprise to me! I never thought people cared enough to make us a Hall of Fame nominee,” lead singer H.R. tells Billboard. ”So, thanks a lot! I’m very honored for this privilege to be on the nominee list.”
Since her 1978 self-titled debut album Chaka, the singer has relished a career that’s spanned over four decades. She’s been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice before as a solo act, and once with funk-soul group Rufus. “3rd time’s a charm,” the Grammy award-winning singer tweeted after her nomination was announced. She followed up her tweet by congratulating fellow collaborator Nile Rodgers, whose band Chic also received a nomination.
— Chaka Khan (@ChakaKhan) October 18, 2016
Merging orchestral sounds with classic rock elements, Electric Light Orchestra have delivered electrifying melodies since the band’s inception back in the 1970s. After decades of performing and releasing music, the Birmingham collective received their first Hall of Fame nomination. “I’m very proud to see my ELO music getting this great recognition. It’s a big honor to be nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame,” Jeff Lynne tells Billboard.
After being nominated two times prior to this year, Yes could enter the Rock Hall in 2017. While the induction is a huge achievement, the London band isn’t too worried about their nomination. Yes drummer Alan White told Billboard that, “After being nominated three times you tend to put it on the back burner a little bit,” but still believes that the recognition is “great.” Refusing the rest on their laurels, Steve Howe said, “I’ve never been particularly impressed or bothered about awards. I’m not here to have a glass cupboard full of awards.”
Chic’s 2017 Hall of Fame nomination is just one of the 11 the group has pocketed over the years. Nile Rodgers humbly accepted the praise he’s received over the nomination, and told Chaka Khan that he wants her to be inducted as well.
Hey Chaka! I want this for you too!!! https://t.co/YT3mVbhC99
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) October 18, 2016
The group joins the lengthy list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame prospects as they receive their second nomination, which guitarist Wayne Kramer tells Billboard is a great accomplishment since “the band never achieved great commercial success and wealth…. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I guess I’ll have to leave it up to the people, all my musicians, all my brothers and sisters that work in the amusement industry to recognize the significance of the MC5,” he continues. “The musicians have always been the band’s greatest champions.”
Gearing up for the final tour dates behind their acclaimed 1968 album Odessey and Oracle, the Zombies are also celebrating their second nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “I’m thrilled beyond words! It’s been such an exciting year for the band, and we’re honoured to even be considered,” frontman Colin Blunstone told Billboard. “Thanks everybody — this has come at a really exciting time for us, as the band has never felt so energized,” The Zombies’ Rod Argent added. “The acceptance of what we are creating now, as well as the older classic material we love to play, is heartwarming!”
“We’re super excited, but it’s hard to talk about because it’s a nomination. The jury’s still out,” Dave Navarro tells Billboard. “Of course it’s very much an honor and we’d love to be in the Hall, but we don’t want to jinx it. We’re a three-time Grammy-nominated band that has never won the Grammy, and here we are now with another nomination. It’s hard to pull the trigger of excitement just yet, but we’re secretly psyched to be nominated.”
J. Geils Band
“One always hopes it turns into fruition, but it’s one of those things that, to quote a Chuck Berry song, you never can tell,” frontman Peter Wolf tells Billboard. Harmonica player Magic Dick Salwitz adds, “This is our fourth nomination, and going through that process, with its inherent disappointment, you’re not sure you want to take that ride again. It’s great to be recognized, but it’s a drag to be disappointed. I hope that we make it in. That would be great.”