Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY
USA TODAY - Twenty-five years after asking fans if they could feel the band's "love buzz," Nirvana is nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
It's the first year that the influential grunge rockers have been eligible for consideration, joining the ranks of other first-time nominees such as Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates and Yes.
Also on the ballot are returning favorites from last year such as Chic, Deep Purple and The Meters, along with hip-hop luminaries N.W.A. and LL Cool J.
It's a diverse field, one that will likely see fan support swell behind beloved acts such as Kiss and Nirvana, and spark debates over the inclusion of Chic and Hall & Oates, who may not seem like textbook examples of rock artists. "This year's nominees represent the broad definition of 'rock 'n' roll' and include an array of artists whose fans are deeply passionate about the possibility of induction," says Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.
For a second year, the public will be given a chance to participate in the selection process, and can cast votes through Dec. 10 at USA TODAY, Rolling Stone, and the official Rock Hall site.The top five artists, as selected by the masses, will make up a fans' ballot, a single vote in choosing the 2014 inductees.
An artist or band becomes eligible for a nomination 25 years after releasing a debut single or album, meaning that the 2014 nominees released their first recording no later than 1988.
Inductees will be determined by the hall's voting body of roughly 600 artists, historians and music industry professionals. The performers who receive the highest number of votes will be inducted April 10 in New York. The ceremony will be broadcast on HBO at a later date.
This year's hopefuls:
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The Chicago band, powered by Butterfield on harmonica and Mike Bloomfield on guitar, led '60s rock lovers to the wellspring of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.
Chic. With dance-floor classics like Le Freak and Good Times, Nile Rodgers and company gave disco a brilliant, soulful upgrade and influenced generations of pop and rap artists.
Deep Purple. The British quintet, which helped define the heavy metal genre with its organ-driven thick sound and early covers of Hush and Kentucky Woman, hijacked the charts with Smoke On the Water and Woman From Tokyo.
Peter Gabriel. The former Genesis frontman brought funky, synth-infused flavor to hits such as Sledgehammer and Shock the Monkey, but arguably made his biggest impact with the powerful, anti-apartheid anthem Biko.
Hall & Oates. With smooth vocal harmonies soaring over rich, pop-rock melodies, Daryl Hall and John Oates brought rhythm & blues to the top of the charts, scoring smash singles such as I Can't Go for That (No Can Do), Private Eyes and You Make My Dreams.
Kiss. Instantly recognized for their flashy attire and black-and-white face paint, these iconic heavy-metal rockers are best known for their Alive!, Love Gun and Destroyer albums, as well as their reputation for putting on dazzling, pyrotechnic-laden performances.
LL Cool J. Before he appeared on Brad Paisley's Accidental Racist, this New York-bred rapper climbed the charts with his sentimental ballad I Need Love, and went on to influence Michael Jackson.
Nirvana. Led by late singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain, this grunge-rock trio cemented its place in rock history with early '90s hits such as Lithium, Heart-Shaped Box and Smells Like Teen Spirit.
N.W.A. Dr. Dre's ambitious, angry rap group, dubbed The Beatles of hip-hop, electrified fans, stunned city fathers and attracted the FBI's attention with gangsta rap classic F--- Tha Police and aggressive albums Straight Outta Compton and N-----4Life.
Link Wray. Inspiring Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen, the late rocker's 1958 hit Rumble introduced the power chord to future generations of guitarists and musicians.
The Meters.The iconic New Orleans funk ensemble and house band for Allen Toussaint's Sansu label recorded Cissy Strut, Look-Ka Py Py and many tunes with Dr. John.
The Replacements. This Minnesota-bred band never scored a hit single, but they are considered alternative-rock pioneers by many, notably influencing popular punk-rock outfits such as Green Day and the Goo Goo Dolls.
Linda Ronstadt. At the forefront of the folk- and country-rock movements, this full-voiced beauty made a name for herself covering Roy Orbison's Blue Bayou and Betty Everett's You're No Good.
Cat Stevens. One of the biggest-selling artists of the early '70s, the mellow British songsmith crafted introspective, tranquil tunes such as Peace Train, Wild World and The First Cut Is the Deepest.
Yes. Largely responsible for bringing progressive rock to the mainstream, these symphonic, experimental Englishmen are often seen as the forefathers to other beloved, synth-heavy bands such as Rush and Dream Theater.
The Zombies. Famed for hazy vocals accompanied by psychedelic guitar riffs and jazz-inflected electric piano, their Odessey and Oracle album was ranked one of the 100 all-time greatest by Rolling Stone.
Contributing: Edna Gundersen