As expected, Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur are among the first-time nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after the 2017 ballot was unveiled on Tuesday (Oct. 18). This was the first time that either musical icon was eligible for the Rock Hall - nominees must have released their first recording 25 years before being consideration, and Pearl Jam and Tupac both debuted in 1991 - and both artists have a good chance to be honored at the induction ceremony next April.
So if Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur were first eligible for the shortlist this year, who will be the key artists to watch at next year's Rock Hall announcement? Here are seven artists that could be included among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees for the first time in 2017:
Rage Against the Machine
In 1992, Rage arrived with their self-titled album, filled with riotous rap-rock protest anthems like "Killing in the Name" and "Bullet in the Head." Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello and co. haven't released a studio album in 16 years, but their eight-year, multi-platinum recording run should be enough to have them in heavy contention next year.
One of the most influential and celebrated R&B groups of all time, TLC dominated the '90s with hits like "Waterfalls," "Creep," "No Scrubs" and "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" after debuting with Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip in 1992.
The West Coast legend already made it into the Rock Hall as a member of N.W.A. earlier this year, but with his solo classic The Chronic coming out in 1992, he can make it back on his own in 2017.
Mary J. Blige
Nearly a quarter-century removed from her 1992 bow What's the 411?, Mary J. Blige is viewed as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul and one of the most important R&B solo artists ever, and will definitely have her fair share of champions when the Rock Hall nominees are announced next year.
Stone Temple Pilots
Core, STP's 1992 debut, boasted alternative radio staples like "Plush" and "Creep," and set the band forth on one of the most successful rock runs of the decade. Sadly, frontman Scott Weiland's 2015 passing came just two years before the band becomes eligible for the Rock Hall next year.
Less than four years passed between the release of Sublime's 1992 debut LP 40oz. to Freedom and the death of singer-guitarist Bradley Nowell in 1996, but the band's fiercely adored three albums and proud ska-punk legacy may be enough to get them into the Hall when they become eligible.
Polly Jean Harvey's 1992 debut, Dry, is widely considered an alt-rock classic; since then, the singer-songwriter has continued issuing bold, critically beloved full-lengths and secured her status as one of music's most reliable auteurs.