Fifteen landmark musicians and bands, spanning several eras and genres, were announced yesterday as the 2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees. Of those fifteen diverse and influential artists, the following seven are especially noteworthy for being (or being made up of) artists of color. We’ve listed them below, along with some of their most-famous songs for your listening and viewing pleasure:
N.W.A., the legendary hip-hop group enjoying a post-peak victory lap (as well as some renewed infamy for Dr. Dre) thanks to the record-setting biopic "Straight Outta Compton":
Los Lobos (pictured above), the decades-old and still-performing pioneers of Chicano rock:
Janet Jackson, genre-definining performer returning to the world stage with a new tour and upcoming album:
Chaka Khan, virtuoso singer-songwriter and "Queen of Funk":
The J.B.’s, James Brown’s acclaimed backing band through the 70s and 80s:
The Spinners, one of Motown’s best-regarded male RnB groups:
Chic, the funk group well-known for guitarist Nile Rodgers’s signature clean guitar sound (pivotal to Daft Punk’s and Pharrell’s chart-topping "Get Lucky") and the group with the most nominations without being inducted (this is their 10th time on the shortlist):
The nominee announcement is never without controversy, generally stemming from a lack of transparency in the nominations processes and comparative lack of representation of artists of color. This year’s nominee list appearing to address some of that criticism. This is the fourth year that fans can vote alongside the 800+ industry experts involved in the selection process.
You can vote for your favorite five nominees at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame’s website or Rolling Stone (whose editor, Jann Wenner, has a controversial association with the Hall of Fame as a leader of the selection committee) until December 9. The winners will be announced in December.
(H/t Okayplayer, NPR, Rolling Stone)