Rock Hall nominees span genres, decades

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kiss, Hollies make the cut

The newest nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced Wednesday range from it was only a matter of time to it's about time, with a couple of stops at maybe they'll finally have their time.

A pair of acts -- Los Angeles rock quartet Red Hot Chili Peppers and Queens rapper LL Cool J -- made the cut on their first try. The others have been waiting for a decade or more.
New York glam-rock act Kiss cracks the ballot a decade after it became eligible, and English prog-turned-pop-rock band Genesis had been waiting more than 15 years.

British hit makers the Hollies, whose first single arrived in 1963, and Jamaican reggae mainstay Jimmy Cliff, whose international debut LP was 1968's "Hard Road to Travel," also earned first-time nominations.

They join six returning candidates for the Class of 2010: ABBA, the Chantels, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, the Stooges and Donna Summer.

Five of the dozen nominees will be chosen for induction from ballots cast by more than 500 music industry voters. An announcement is expected in January, and the Rock Hall's 25th annual Induction Ceremony is set for March 15 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

Acts are eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after the release of their first album or single.

The year's big story could turn out to be Kiss, which has been eligible since 1999 but, like shock-rock predecessor Alice Cooper, has been famously snubbed by the Hall's nominating committee and has made some harsh comments about the organization. But singer Paul Stanley recently noted that a Rock Hall induction would cause he and fellow co-founder Gene Simmons -- who still record and tour with Kiss -- to consider which of the group's members they'd like to have enter with them.

"There's been a lot of people who've been a part of this, some longer than others ... and some who deserve recognition more than others," Stanley said in an interview with Billboard. "Even the nonmakeup years produced some platinum and double-platinum albums, and we had some very healthy sales in terms of albums and concerts through the '80s and '90s. So if we should ever be asked to accept induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it would be something to think about."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation determines which members of a band are inducted, and the ballot lists the four founding members of Kiss, including Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.

Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith said "it's a real honor to be nominated in our first year of eligibility. Obviously the Hall of Fame has excellent musical taste."

LL Cool J, nee James Todd Smith, aims to be the third rap act in four years inducted into the Hall, following Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (2007) and Run-D.M.C. (2009). It's a big week for the sometimes-actor; CBS' spinoff-from-a-spinoff "NCIS: Los Angeles," in which he plays his first starring role in a TV series, premiered Tuesday to impressive ratings.

Hollies co-founder Graham Nash is already in the Hall of Fame with Crosby, Stills & Nash (1997) but said he was "very thrilled" to hear about the latest nomination. "There's a long way from here to actually being inducted," said Nash, who was with the group from 1962-68. "I truly believe the Hollies deserve to be inducted. They were a large part of the early history of what we know as rock 'n' roll. I would be particularly thrilled for (retired Hollies co-founder) Allan Clarke. That's where my heart goes. I'm already in there, but it would be a thrill for me to see it happen for" the Hollies.

While the ballots are being mailed to voters, the Hall of Fame also is preparing for its A-list 25th anniversary concerts Oct. 29-30 at New York's Madison Square Garden; the release of a nine-DVD boxed set, "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live"; and the publication of a book, "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years."

Billboard writer Gary Graff in Detroit contributed to this report.