Later this morning, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will announce their 2011 ballot. Rolling Stone can confirm that it includes first-time nominees Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Donovan and Neil Diamond, plus previously nominated acts LL Cool J, J. Geils Band, Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, Chic, Dr. John, Laura Nyro, Joe Tex, Darlene Love and Chuck Willis. Artists must have released their first single in 1985 or earlier to be eligible in 2011. The top vote-getters will be announced in December, and formally inducted on March 14th 2011 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper have both been eligible for over fifteen years — and only Rush and KISS fans have been more outspoken about the exclusion of their favorite band. “I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be calling me,” Cooper said in 2002. “I think I'm being blackballed. But it's great to be the Pete Rose of rock and roll.” Last year the Hall of Fame inducted other the long-overlooked acts Genesis, the Stooges, the Hollies, Jimmy Cliff and ABBA.