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

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

20. The Notorious B.I.G.

Clarence Davis/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Year Eligible: 2019
Debut Album: Ready to Die (1994)
Why He Should Be Inducted: Big in life and big on record, the man who went by Biggie Smalls rapped with a smooth swagger that, when coupled with smart technique and smarter lyrics, made him the voice of a generation. Since his death in 1997, at age 24, all of his posthumously released albums have charted in the Top Five and his story served as the basis for a biopic.
Possible Drama: None. There's even an outside chance that Jimmy Page would want to induct him.

19. Outkast

Year Eligible: 2019
Debut Album: Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994)
Why They Should Be Inducted: Six-time Grammy winners Outkast pioneered their own unique fusion of rap, soul and pop that congealed in a way that earned them simultaneous Number One positions on the Top 100, R&B and Rap charts for "Ms. Jackson" in 2000. By the time they put out their next record, 2003's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, they reached the critical mass of earning a diamond-selling album.
Possible Drama: None. Although Outkast never officially broke up, the two rappers were estranged from one another throughout much of the 2000s, and André 3000 made public statements that 2013 remixes that featured both Big Boi and him were "not Outkast collaborations." The duo began performing together again as Outkast in 2014 in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

18. Weezer

Paul Natkin/WireImage

Year Eligible: 2019
Debut Album: Weezer (1994)
Why They Should Be Inducted: Weezer were the alt-rock era's kings of kitsch – with videos that played of Happy Days and songs about crying over poor sewing – but it's Rivers Cuomo's songwriting on infectious singles like "Buddy Holly," "Hash Pipe" and "Beverly Hills" that could earn them their place in the Rock Hall. That and whether or not nerd culture will still be en vogue by the end of the decade.
Possible Drama: None. Frontman Rivers Cuomo is on good terms with the group's two living ex-members – both reportedly attended Cuomo's wedding in 2006 – and, a few months before his death in 2011, bassist Mikey Welsh played "Undone" with the band and Flaming Lips in New York.

17. Dave Matthews Band

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Year Eligible: 2018
Debut Album: Remember Two Things (1993)
Why They Should Be Inducted: The Dave Matthews Band's first release was a live record, and, even though they have chalked up several multi-platinum releases, they have become one of the best bands to see live. Up until 2011, the group toured every year for the previous 20. Touring-industry trade magazine Pollstar named the band Top Act of the Decade, as they had grossed nearly $530 million at that point. But more than economical concerns, hits like "Ants Marching" and "American Baby" continue to endure.
Possible Drama: None. The group's lineup has remained consistent, other than saxophonist LeRoi Moore's death in 2008 and the departure of two keyboardists who left on their own accord.

16. Dr. Dre

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Year Eligible: 2017
Debut Album: The Chronic (1992)
Why He Should Be Inducted: A year after leaving gangsta-rap firebrands N.W.A, Dr. Dre became the ambassador for the G-Funk era. His first solo album, The Chronic, became an instant classic, thanks to heavy MTV airplay, his public beefing with ex-bandmate Eazy-E and the introduction of one Snoop Doggy Dogg. He later discovered Eminem and helped Death Row Records as a force to be reckoned with, even if his departure from that label was acrimonious. His only other solo album, 2001, came out way back in 1999, but as people figure out the over-under on when he'll release his next record, the long-promised Detox, he continues to top lists of the richest rap stars.
Possible Drama: None. Maybe by 2017 Detox will have come out.

15. Rage Against the Machine

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Year Eligible: 2017
Debut Album: Rage Against the Machine (1992)
Why They Should Be Inducted: Rage Against the Machine did not invent rap-rock but they arguably did it best. Also, few other bands embraced the political power of music as Rage, who played free concerts to protest war in Iraq and disrupted Wall Street for their "Sleep Now in the Fire" video.
Possible Drama: As of 2012, guitarist Tom Morello has said the band may not ever play again. "I consider them brothers and brothers-in-arms, and whether or not we ever play music again in any capacity is unknown," he told Rolling Stone. "I'm grateful for the music we played together."

14. Mary J. Blige

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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"

13. 2Pac

Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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. 

12. Blur

Mick Hutson/Redferns

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.

11. Pearl Jam

Paul Bergen/Redferns

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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