By Brian Ives
‘90s icons and classic rock staples lead the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction class of 2017. Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Yes and Joan Baez will all be inducted. Additionally, Nile Rodgers will receive the Award for Musical Excellence.
Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur are both artists who are newly eligible this year. An artist is eligible twenty-five years after their first release (although the ceremony takes place next year, they have to be eligible as of this year to be considered). In 1991, Pearl Jam released their debut Ten, and Shakur released his debut 2Pacalypse Now.
Yes, Electric Light Orchestra and Journey are perennially popular bands within the classic rock format, but have all been passed over for more than a decade: Yes released their self-titled debut in 1969; ELO’s self-titled debut came out in 1971 and Journey’s self-titled debut was unleashed in 1975.
Joan Baez, meanwhile, has been passed over for over three decades: her self-titled debut came out in 1960.
Rodgers’ Award for Musical Excellence will likely be seen as a consolation of sorts; he’s the leader and guitarist of Chic, who was on the ballot for the 11th time this year, and were not voted in. Past recipients of this award include Ringo Starr (who was a Hall of Famer as a Beatle, but unlike his bandmates, had not been voted in for his solo career), the E Street Band (who were not included with Bruce Springsteen’s induction, as their name wasn’t on the cover of his records a la Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers), and Leon Russell, who hadn’t been voted in, despite an incredibly influential career.
The 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will take place on Friday, April 7, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Ticket information will be announced in January. The show will be broadcast a few weeks after the event on HBO; those details will be announced in the coming weeks as well.