The Prince of Pop may soon find himself enshrined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame . . . provided he collects enough votes. Michael Jackson is among the sixteen artists up for induction this year, alongside hard rockers AC/DC, cult icons the New York Dolls, punk poet Patti Smith, Motor City classic rocker Bob Seger and pop-country crossover singer Brenda Lee.
Jackson, of course, has already been inducted as a member of the Jackson Five. Other veteran inductees being considered this year as solo artists are Lou Reed (who is already in as part of the Velvet Underground) and Paul Simon (this time sans Garfunkel).
This year's ballot, which was sent to a voting committee of past inductees, music industry insiders and music journalists, also features a host of familiar names who have been short-listed before but have yet to make the final cut. The biggest names competing for a second (or third, or fourth) chance are Steely Dan, Aerosmith, Queen and Lynyrd Skynyrd-- not to mention Black Sabbath, despite the fact that Ozzy Osbourne requested they be removed from the ballot out of protest last year. Fifties rocker Ritchie Valens, soul legend Solomon Burke and doo-wop group the Flamingos are also up for reconsideration.
The inductees will be announced in November. The induction ceremony will be held in March in New York.