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20 Artists Eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Next

On the eve of the 2014 induction, a look at who might join the ranks through 2019

Beck and Mariah Carey

Beck and Mariah Carey

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As Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members AC/DC once sang, "It's a long way to the top, if you want to rock & roll" – and that's especially true if you want to join its hall of fame. An artist becomes eligible to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of his or her debut record. But that alone won't get an act in. To be considered, they must have demonstrated some contribution to the "development and perpetuation of rock & roll." This year, Nirvana join a list of artists that includes Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Elton John, among others, who were inducted in the first year of elibibility. Other artists wait years and years for inclusion, like Kiss who waited 15 before getting the nod this year. Here's a look at 20 artists who will become eligible for induction over the next five years, why they might make it in and whether or not their induction will be a smooth process. By Kory Grow

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Mary J. Blige

Year Eligible: 2017
Debut Album: What's the 411? (1992)
Why She Should Be Inducted: If the infectious, enduring 1992 single "Real Love" doesn't warrant her inclusion alone, maybe her four other Number One R&B singles – produced by the likes of Babyface and Dr. Dre, among others – will make her case. Blige has won nine Grammys, four American Music Awards and four BET Awards in the past two decades. She also ranked on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers list.
Possible Drama: "No More Drama"

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2Pac

Year Eligible: 2016
Debut Album: 2Pacalypse Now (1991)
Why He Should Be Inducted: From his "Thug Life" belly tat to his ability of shifting from a tender single like "Keep Ya Head Up" to "Pour Out a Little Liquor" to challenging Biggie Smalls on "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" a few years later, he was a rock star through and through. Before his death at age 25, 2Pac recorded five albums, one album with the group Thug Life, and enough material for six posthumous albums and one record with Outlawz. With a string of multiplatinum records to his name, his legacy is big enough to warrant Dr. Dre bringing him out as a hologram at his 2012 Coachella appearance.
Possible Drama: None, as long as his hologram does not accept the honor. 

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Blur

Year Eligible: 2016
Debut Album: Leisure (1991)
Why They Should Be Inducted: No other band in history has been able to co-opt a Homer Simpson catchphrase like "woo-hoo!" and turn it into a song that appeals to both Britpop fans and hard-rock radio programmers. Although "Song 2" and "Girls and Boys" were Blur's only big hits in the U.S., the band has always kept a strong fan base in the U.K., where all of their albums have sold at least gold.
Possible Drama: Depends. Earlier this year, Damon Albarn – who is putting out his first solo album, Everyday Robots, this month – told Rolling Stonehe just didn't have time for Blur. Regarding a follow-up record to 2003's Think Tank, he said, "There is material, but I can't foresee us in the near future being in a position to finish it. We're just all doing other stuff." Two years maybe long enough for the band to sort out its differences.

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Pearl Jam

Year Eligible: 2016
Debut Album: Ten (1991)
Why They Should Be Inducted: The group thought better of their original name, Mookie Blaylock, and, as Pearl Jam, issued one of the best-selling debut albums in history, Ten, which has been certified 13 times platinum. Moreover, they made a name for themselves while taking on the music industry, specifically Ticketmaster, and professing pro-choice ideology in the early Nineties. To their credit, all but one of their studio albums has sold at least gold.
Possible Drama: Other than suffering "exploding drummer syndrome," à la Spinal Tap – and note, their fifth drummer, Matt Cameron, has held onto his job since 1998 – the group's lineup has remained consistent since forming in 1990. Only drummer Dave Abbruzzese – who was ousted after recording the group's last multiplatinum record, Vitalogy – has expressed any bad blood but he has since said he no longer harbors hard feelings.

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Smashing Pumpkins

Year Eligible: 2016
Debut Album: Gish (1991)
Why They Should Be Inducted: Aside from being one of the most distinctive voices of the alt-rock era, Smashing Pumpkins managed to score a diamond-selling album for Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness at a time when buying double-CDs required a promissory note for the buyer's first-born. They got thousands of kids to walk around with T-shirts that said "Zero" on them and, even after a messy breakup and a complete overhaul of their lineup, still manage to play arenas.
Possible Drama: Depends on who gets an invite. Smashing Pumpkins is Billy's baby, and although the group currently contains no other original members, the possibility of the reunion is unlikely. Corgan has placed blame on guitarist James Iha for breaking up the group, which Iha refuted, and called bassist D'arcy Wretzky a "mean-spirited drug addict." Neither has played in Pumpkins since Y2K was a thing.

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Mariah Carey

Year Eligible: 2015
Debut Album: Mariah Carey
Why She Should Be Inducted: Aside from holding the Guinness World Records for the Biggest Record Deal and Most Consecutive Weeks at Number One for a single at one point or another, Carey has reportedly sold more than 200 million records worldwide and has had more Number One songs than any other solo artist. Over the past two decades, she's claimed the Top Spot more times than Elvis.
Possible Drama: None, as long as no one flips the script if and when she is inducted. Last year, Carey issued a "diva in distress" missive apologizing for one of her employees posting the wrong mix of her new single "The Art of Letting Go." "There's no doubt in my mind that this sounds like a self-absorbed diva on a 'woe-is-me' tangent about a couple of adlibs or some other triviality," she wrote, "but the reality is this is me, focusing solely on the record, wanting you to hear it and experience it the right way."

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Wu-Tang Clan

Year Eligible: 2018
Debut Album: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
Why They Should Be Inducted: Wu-Tang Clan are the rap equivalent to a production studio: When they work together, they write anthems like "C.R.E.A.M." and hits like "Gravel Pit," and when they're apart, they keep the Wu mythology alive in their own unique ways. Plus, they're among rap's great entrepreneurs, applying a Kiss-like stamp of approval to clothing, videogames, movies and more. Plus, their individual members have made names for themselves outside of Wu better than members of the biggest rock bands.
Possible Drama: Unlikely but plausible, considering the group's occasional penchant for infighting. Also, like their concerts there's no saying who would show up. Currently, the Wu is as resilient as ever and even has two albums due out in 2014: A Better Tomorrow and The Wu – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. They're selling only one copy of the latter release, and have so far reportedly entertained bids between $2 million and $5 million for it.

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Hole

Year Eligible: 2016
Debut Album: Pretty on the Inside (1991)
Why They Should Be Inducted: Even though Hole have only four records to their name, their 1994 breakthrough Live Through This, which contained the singles "Miss World" and "Violet," and its follow-up, Celebrity Skin, which featured the title hit and "Malibu," are bona-fide classics. They also served as the launching pad for one of the Nineties' most enthralling rock stars, Courtney Love. Moreover, the group's Nineties legacy continues to inspire: The 2009 hit horror movie Jennifer's Body was named after a song on Live Through This.
Possible Drama: None, as long as the ever-turbulent world of Courtney Love can hold steady for a couple of years. Love reunited the Celebrity Skin lineup of Hole in April and has a new single, "Wedding Day," slated for May.

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Sheryl Crow

Year Eligible: 2018
Debut Album: Tuesday Night Music Club (1993)
Why They Should Be Inducted: When Sheryl Crow first appeared on the charts, songs like "All I Wanna Do," "Strong Enough" and "Leaving Las Vegas" had qualities that made her a hit with fans of pop, alternative, country and mainstream rock simultaneously. Her easygoing mien helped her earn platinum albums well into the mid 2000s as she has continued to refine her many sounds.
Possible Drama: None. A couple of years after she opened up about a brain-tumor scare that turned out to be benign, Crow has since reinvented herself as a country singer-songwriter. "Nashville is amazing," Crow said in an interview. "It ups your game [as a songwriter]."

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Green Day

Year Eligible: 2015
Debut Album: 39/Smooth (1990)
Why They Should Be Inducted: What other band of punks could serve as the connecting thread between 924 Gilman Street and Broadway? From their humble beginnings as snotty iconoclasts singing about masturbation to winning two Tony Awards for American Idiot, Green Day have truly redefined punk without abandoning the ethos of rock & roll.
Possible Drama: None. Despite a mini-breakdown following the release of ¡Uno!, when frontman Billie Joe Armstrong unleashed an angry screed on Justin Bieber at a festival and later sought substance-abuse treatment, the frontman has since been rehabilitated. The group is even putting out an LP of demos on Record Store Day.

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Jeff Buckley

Year Eligible: 2019
Debut Album: Grace (1994)
Why He Should Be Inducted:
With just one album released, Jeff Buckley stepped out of the shadow of his father, Tim, and showed that he had his own unique and sensitive voice. Following his 1997 death, his legacy has only grown: His version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" posthumously claimed the top spot of Billboard's Digital Songs chart after Jason Castro performed it on American Idol and Rufus Wainwright wrote a song in his honor.
Possible Drama: None. Jeff Buckley's legacy has constantly been treated with respect. Some of his songs were even recently admitted into the Library of Congress.

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Oasis

Year Eligible: 2019
Debut Album: Definitely Maybe (1994)
Why They Should Be Inducted: Oasis might not have invented Britpop, but they surely ratified it. Brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher always had a knack for writing catchy, curl-lipped anthems for music fans as disaffected as they were. Well maybe not "as disaffected," given their penchant for inner-band pugilism, but who can forget "Wonderwall"?
Possible Drama: More like "probable drama." To cap off years of bickering between the Gallagher brothers, Liam sued Noel in 2011 for slandering him as the band broke up. Since then, Liam has said he is open to a reunion. Definitely maybe?

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Beck

Year Eligible: 2018
Debut Album: Golden Feelings (1993)
Why He Should Be Inducted: Beck takes risks, damn the torpedoes. He earned himself a double-platinum plaque when he beefed up the hip-hop edge of his earlier hits for his Odelay album in 1996 and got himself a gold with the beautiful bummer trip Sea Change in 2002.
Possible Drama: He has been reclusive in recent years, producing others' records, issuing albums as sheet music and generally avoiding the stage possibly as a result of a spinal injury. But leading up to the release of his most recent LP, Morning Phase, he has decided to get back on the road with 2014 North American tour dates running through June.

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Radiohead

Year Eligible: 2018
Debut Album: Pablo Honey (1993)
Why They Should Be Inducted: The band members have proven themselves to be artistic visionaries, experimenting in the studio with the same verve as the Beatles and Pink Floyd decades before. Moreover, the group turned the music industry on its cauliflower ear when it released In Rainbows as a pay-what-want album in 2007.
Possible Drama: None. Radiohead's lineup has remained consistent since 1985, a feat that warrants its own reward.

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