The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2017 class of inductees and they are: Journey, Electric Light Orchestra, Yes, Pearl Jam, Joan Baez and Tupac Shakur. Niles Rodgers of Chic will also receive a special award.
If there's a controversial pick among the 2017 class, it's likely Shakur, the rapper who was shot and killed in 1996 at the young age of 25. His comparably shorter catalog of tunes, however, has continued to grow as new songs have been released posthumously.
Yes had to be the sentimental favorite, having been nominated but ultimately passed over multiple times over the years that they've been eligible. Artists become eligible for the rock hall 25 years after the release of their first record.
Journey was the fan favorite for this class, having won the online poll by music fans. (Though that distinction only adds one vote to the 800 other ballots submitted by music professionals and critics.)
The big question for Journey fans is this: Will former frontman Steve Perry be invited to perform on stage with the rest of his bandmates during the induction ceremony? Guitarist Neal Schon addressed that question during an interview this morning with Ultimate Classic Rock.
"You know, I have no clue," Schon told the website. "I definitely think that he will be there, as he should be. Musically speaking, I'd love to have him do a song with us – or two, or whatever. What would be even greater would be for him to do a song with Arnel (Pineda) too. I'm open to everything. I'm very open-minded to whatever happens, and any ideas that are brought forth."
Other inducted artists have made statements to the media today as well including ELO's Jeff Lynne, who said: "I am deeply honored to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and would like to thank all the great fans who have supported us over the years."
Baez also released a statement: "I never considered myself to be a rock and roll artist. But as part of the folk music boom which contributed to and influenced the rock revolution of the Sixties, I am proud that some of the songs I sang made their way into the rock lexicon."
Among the '80s acts nominated this year who missed the cut are: Depeche Mode, Janet Jackson, Bad Brains, Chaka Khan, The Cars, J. Geils Band and Kraftwerk
The induction ceremony will be held at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on April 7. An edited version will later air on HBO.