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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Meet the 2013 Nominees

Rush, Kraftwerk, Public Enemy and more could be inducted next spring

rock and roll hall of fame nominees

rock and roll hall of fame nominees

This year's nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are one of the most diverse lots yet. In addition to classic rock acts such as Rush, Deep Purple and Procol Harum, the list also includes two seminal rap groups (Public Enemy and N.W.A.), two definitive disco hitmakers (Chic and Donna Summer) and two great blues acts (Albert King, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band). The nominees are rounded out by Motown's Marvelettes, the sister act Heart, tough-as-nails crew Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the masterful L.A. songwriter Randy Newman, New Orleans funk architects the Meters and the pioneering German electronic group Kraftwerk. Read on for more on each of this year's nominees.

albert king

David Redfern/Redferns

Albert King

This blues guitar master was already a touring and recording veteran when he joined the Stax-Volt roster in the mid-Sixties. He went on to cut a long string of hit singles for the storied label. One of the three "Kings" of the blues – along with unrelated stars B.B. King and Freddie King – he was a key influence on Stevie Ray Vaughan and generations of later guitarists.

Active: 1954-1992

Previous nominations: 0

Signature songs: "Born Under a Bad Sign," "Crosscut Saw," "Blues at Sunrise"

From the RS Archives: Albert King Is Not Going to Quit (1968)

chic

Gilles Petard/Redferns

Chic

Founded by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards in New York, Chic took disco to new creative heights – and they still stand as one of the sleekest, funkiest bands ever. Their 1979 smash "Good Times" proved especially influential when its bassline was sampled for the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" later that year. Rodgers is also a noted producer, who has helped shape hits by David Bowie, Madonna, Diana Ross, INXS and many others.

Active: 1977-present

Previous nominations: 6

Signature songs: "Le Freak," "Good Times," "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)," "I Want Your Love"

From the RS Archives: Album Review: Chic, 'Chic-ism' (1992)

deep purple

Chris Walter/WireImage

Deep Purple

This pioneering British band, formed by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and classically trained organist Jon Lord, was present at the creation of heavy metal. Deep Purple inspired countless major hard rock and metal acts – not to mention all the young guitarists who have learned to play Blackmore's enduring riff from "Smoke on the Water."

Active: 1968-present

Previous nominations: 0

Signature songs: "Smoke on the Water," "Woman From Tokyo," "Hush"

From the RS Archives: Deep Purple: Self Evaluation Time Again (1973)

donna summer

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Donna Summer

Disco queen Donna Summer, who sadly passed away in the spring of 2012, was the ultimate dance music diva. Summer scored a remarkable 19 Number One hits on the dance charts between 1975 and 2008 – second only to Madonna. At the peak of her popularity, she was the only artist ever to chart three consecutive Number One double albums.

Active: 1968-2012

Previous nominations: 4

Signature songs: "Love to Love You Baby," "I Feel Love," "Hot Stuff," "Last Dance," "MacArthur Park"

From the RS Archives: Donna Summer: Is There Life After Disco? (1978)

heart

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Heart

Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson proved once and for all that women could rock every bit as hard as Led Zeppelin. After their initial success playing heavy rock in the Seventies, the group retooled for the MTV era and continued to scale the charts, totaling 20 Top 40 hits in all.

Active: 1975-present

Previous nominations: 1

Signature songs: "Magic Man," "Crazy on You," "Barracuda," "These Dreams"

From the RS Archives: Heart Attack (1980); Wilson Sisters Talk Heart to Heart (1977)

joan jett and the blackhearts

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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Joan Jett began as an original member of the all-female Runaways before taking her brash, no-apologies persona to a successful solo career starting in the late Seventies. "It's a feeling thing, it's emotion," Jett once said of rock & roll. "You don't think about it. If you start thinking rock & roll, you're fucked."

Active: 1979-present

Previous nominations: 1

Signature songs: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Bad Reputation," "I Hate Myself for Loving You"

From the RS Archives: Joan Jett Lives Up to Her Bad Reputation (1994)

kraftwerk

Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

Kraftwerk

All of electronic music springs from the well of Kraftwerk, the hugely influential crew from Dusseldorf, Germany. Albums including 1974's Autobahn and 1977's Trans-Europe Express helped inspire countless musicians to use synthesizers in revolutionary new ways. Kraftwerk also played a crucial role in the rise of hip-hop, providing the sample featured prominently in Afrika Bambaataa's 1982 hit "Planet Rock."

Active: 1970-present

Previous nominations: 1

Signature songs: "Autobahn," "Trans-Europe Express," "Computer Love"

From the RS Archives: Germany's Kraftwerk: Metal of the Road (1975)

The Marvelettes

James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Marvelettes

The first Motown act to score a Number One pop single on the pop chart – with 1961's timeless "Please Mr. Postman" – this foursome helped define the girl group era.

Active: 1961-1970

Previous nominations: 0

Signature songs: "Please Mr. Postman," "Don't Mess With Bill," "Too Many Fish in the Sea"

From the RS Archives: Album Review: The Marvelettes, 'Forever More'

The Meters

Gilles Petard/Redferns

The Meters

The original Meters were to New Orleans funk and soul what Booker T. and the MGs were to Stax-Volt: an all-purpose, outrageously prolific backing band for other major artists that was also more than capable of churning out its own hits. The band's long list of superstar collaborators includes Paul McCartney, Labelle, Robert Palmer, Dr. John and many more.

Active: 1969-present

Previous nominations: 1

Signature songs: "Cissy Strut," "Look-Ka Py Py," "Africa," "Fire on the Bayou"

From the RS Archives: Live Report: The Meters (1976)

N.W.A.

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N.W.A.

Compton's N.W.A. – short for Niggaz Wit Attitude – brought an unprecedented rawness and aggression to hip-hop, setting a blueprint for the gangsta rap genre. While the group only produced two full-length albums before disbanding, its influence was enormous, and its alums include three of rap's most iconic figures: Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and the late Eazy-E.

Active: 1987-1991

Previous nominations: 0 (first year eligible)

Signature songs: "Fuck Tha Police," "Straight Outta Compton," "Express Yourself"

From the RS Archives: N.W.A. Cops an Attitude (1989)

Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

Paul Butterfield Blues Band

When harmonica-playing Chicagoan Paul Butterfield joined with guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, they put a new emphasis on the blues in rock & roll. Members of the band backed Bob Dylan when he went electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965; four years later, the band rocked Woodstock.

Active: 1965-1972

Previous nominations: 1

Signature songs: "Born in Chicago," "East West"

procol harum

Jim McCrary/Redferns

Procol Harum

Best remembered for their hit 1967 single "A Whiter Shade of Pale," the early British prog-rock group Procol Harum brought a symphonic flair to rock & roll.

Active: 1967-present

Previous nominations: 0

Signature songs: "A Whiter Shade of Pale," "Conquistador"

From the RS Archives: Procol Harum and Facts of Life (1971)

Public Enemy

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Public Enemy

Public Enemy was a new kind of rap crew for the late Eighties, with a sound defined by Chuck D's provocative social commentary, Flavor Flav's anarchic humor and the Bomb Squad's dense, heavy beats. The late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch once told Rolling Stone that he saw PE as "the rare artist who can make great music and also deliver a political and social message."

Active: 1987-present

Previous nominations: 0 (first year eligible)

Signature songs: "Fight the Power," "Don't Believe the Hype," "911 Is a Joke," "Welcome to the Terrordome"

From the RS Archives: Public Enemy: Rockin' the Joint (1988)

Randy Newman

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Randy Newman

For more than four decades, L.A.'s Randy Newman has honed his razor-sharp wit on satirical character studies and social critiques, set to music that shows the influence of his childhood summers in New Orleans. In later life, Newman has become a successful writer of songs for family films.

Active: 1968-present

Previous nominations: 1

Signature songs: "I Love L.A.," "Short People," "You've Got a Friend in Me"

From the RS Archives: Randy Newman: You've Got to Let This Fat Boy In Your Life (1972)

rush

Fin Costello/Redferns

Rush

The Canadian prog giants have one of the biggest cult audiences in rock. They first broke through with 1976's concept album 2112; in the Eighties, they began writing shorter songs and landing huge hits on the radio. Decades into their career, they remain incredibly popular.

Active: 1973-present

Previous nominations: 0

Signature songs: "Tom Sawyer," "Limelight," "The Spirit of Radio"

From the RS Archives: Rush: Power From the People (1981)