Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame released it’s list of nominees for the 2015 Class of Inductees. Featured nominees this year include Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, The Smiths, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Lou Reed, and Sting. Other nominees this year include N.W.A., Kraftwerk, Chic, Bill Withers, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Marvelettes, War, and The Spinners. Both Nine Inch Nails and Green Day have been nominated in their first year of eligibility. Music icons Lou Reed and Sting are already members of The Hall, having been inducted with their prior bands The Velvet Underground and The Police respectively. This year, they could join a select group that has entered the Hall of Fame both as a member of a group and as a solo artist. In 2010, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts supported Green Day on their arena tour of the UK. Nine Inch Nails and Green Day both breakout acts at Woodstock ’94 in New York. The 25th Anniversary of the festival was back on August 14. This year’s inductees will be voted on by fellow artists, music historians, journalist, and other music industry professionals. Fans are also eligible to vote via our friends at RollingStone.com. The Top 5 finalists will be inducted in April 2015.
Nine Inch Nails are undoubtedly one of the greatest artists of all time. Pioneers of the industrial genre, they incorporated elements of rock, metal, electronica, and alternative rock to forge a style all their own. They shook the music world to it’s core in 1989 with their debut album, Pretty Hate Machine. The record was truly groundbreaking, and has since gone on to be certified multi-platinum. In 1994, NIИ set the bar once again with their sophomore effort, The Downward Spiral, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200. The disc went on to sell over 5 million copies, and be certified quadruple-platinum. It spawned NIИ’s finest moment, the single Closer. The band’s third album was a monster double disc outing titled The Fragile, released in 1999. The album saw NIИ expanding their trademark sound, and once again the band debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. From 2005-2008, the band released four more studio LP’s. Throughout their entire career, Nine Inch Nails were famous for their EPs, single releases, and remix albums. They have released approximately two-dozen since their inception. Every NIИ record is categorized with the word “Halo” followed by a number. In 2013, the band headlined the Budweiser Made In America Festival in Philadelphia, PA. This past summer, NIИ trekked across North America on a massive co-headlining tour with Soundgarden.
Green Day exploded onto the mainstream with 1994′s Dookie, which sold 15 million copies and earned the band its first Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance. Over the years, Green Day continued to top the charts with the subsequent studio albums Insomniac, Nimrod, and Warning. In 2004, the band released American Idiot, arguably their biggest hit record. American Idiot debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, spawned five hit singles, and garnered the band seven Grammy nominations (winning two, including Best Rock Album). In 2009, Green Day released 21st Century Breakdown, which won a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. The double-platinum single “21 Guns,” earned Green Day three 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Rock Video. In 2012, they released a triple-album ¡UNO! ¡DOS! ¡TRÉ!. They toured in support of the album and headlined several festivals around the world. Throughout their career, Green Day have won 5 Grammy Awards and 3 American Music Awards.
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts exploded onto the scene with their 1981 smash I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll. The album’s title track is now one of hard rock’s greatest anthems. This year, Joan Jett became the first woman to win a Revolver Golden God Award, and she also took home the AP Icon Award at the Alternative Press Music Awards. Despite his career being cut short due to his tragic death in 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughn is a certified blues icon and guitar god. He has garnered 6 Grammy Awards and sold over 15 million albums in the U.S. alone. Vaughn was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Musicians Hall of Fame this year. The Smiths are hailed as one of the most significant bands to emerge from the British rock scene. The band only released four LPs between 1984 and 1987. Their final effort, Strangeways, Here We Come, hit #2 on the UK Albums Chart and stayed there for 17 weeks. The group then disbanded, and have never reunited. Vocalist Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr have both enjoyed solo success and have toured recently.
Lou Reed is best known as a member of The Velved Underdround, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in in 1996. The band released their final album in 1970, and Reed embarked on a solo career. Reed released 22 solo albums and 13 live albums. His last effort would be 2011’s Lulu, a collaboration with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Metallica. The collaboration came about after Reed and Metallica performed together at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert. Sting is one of the most commercially successful artists of all time. Throughout his career, he’s won 16 Grammy Awards, 3 BRIT Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Emmy. In 2000, Sting received a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 with his band The Police. – by Matt Bishop