© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Akron's DEVO Makes Cut For 2019 Rock Hall Nominees

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction

  • Def Leppard
  • Devo 
  • Janet Jackson
  • John Prine
  • Kraftwerk
  • LL Cool J
  • MC5
  • Radiohead
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Roxy Music
  • Stevie Nicks
  • The Cure
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Rufus & Chaka Khan 
  • The Zombies

A quirky group of New Wave pioneers from Akron, a soulful folk balladeer and an R&B hitmaker are among 15 nominees vying for a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The collapse of industry in the Midwestern rust belt gave birth to a band made up of Kent State art students whose pioneering music videos parodied the de-evolution of society. This is DEVO’s first time on the ballot.

Performers can only earn a spot in the Rock Hall 25 years after the release of their first recording.  Most of this year’s nominees have waited longer.  It took DEVO another 16 years to make the cut.  Detroit’s MC5 got their start over five decades ago.

Rapper LL Cool J and German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk have previously been on the ballot four times each.  Fans of Janet Jackson are hoping that her third time on the ballot will be the charm.

Los Angeles-based Rage Against the Machine was first nominated last year, but didn’t win an induction.  They’re back on the ballot this year with their blend of metal, hip-hop and some fiery political messages.  Old-school metal icons, Def Leppard, are up for the first time.

But, it isn’t all fire and noise on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot.  Gentle folkie John Prine launched his career in Chicago nearly fifty years ago.  His songs are a mix of whimsical wonder and heartbreaking reality.

Roxy Music, Radiohead, Rufus & Chaka Khan, The Cure, Todd Rundgren, Stevie Nicks, and the Zombies round out the 2019 roster of nominees.

For the next couple months, over a thousand scholars, performers and music industry insiders will narrow the list of nominees to about a half dozen inductees, who will be named in December.  Among those ballots will be some input from the general public.  The “Fan Ballot” gives one vote to each of the top five performers in a poll on the Rock Hall’s website.

The new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees will be honored in a New York ceremony next year.  The inductions return to Cleveland in 2020.



David C. Barnett was a senior arts & culture reporter for Ideastream Public Media. He retired in October 2022.