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Pearl Jam, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson Nominated For Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 18, 2016 5:20PM

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Pearl Jam, photo by Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame released its list of nominees on Tuesday morning and, as usual, there are a few groups on the shortlist either based in Chicago or with deep local ties.

Topping the list of "get them in there now" is Chicago native Chaka Khan. Khan's early career with Rufus helped define funk and R&B in the '70s, and when Stevie Wonder handed them "Tell Me Something Good," their careers blew up. While with Rufus, Khan released her first solo album, including "I'm Every Woman," a stone cold classic that found new life when a new soul diva by the name of Whitney Houston covered it years later.

Rufus and Khan split for good in the '80s, and Khan's solo career during that decade continued to bring a certain amount of genuine soul to a period where too many of her compatriots from the '70s were turning to cold, lifeless compositions in an attempt to keep up with the times. Her cover of Prince's "I Feel For You" in 1984 actually made that song even sexier—no small feat—while still managing to bend the more mechanical sound of the time to her will.

Pearl Jam makes their first appearance as a nominee, and while the band is based in Seattle, we feel rather safe in assuming they consider Chicago their second home. Eddie Vedder hails from the area, and is a fixture at Cubs games whenever he's in town (which, this year, seemed more often than not). The band has played a number of legendary shows in the area, spanning from their 1995 show at Solider Field that came at the height of their war against Ticketmaster, all the way through to this summer's double header of concerts at Wrigley Field. Vedder is also active in local charities, and you're probably more likely to run into him at a bar than someone like Billy Corgan, who actually still lives here.

Which, as an aside, it should be noted that The Smashing Pumpkins are also now eligible for the Hall Of Fame, though they didn't warrant a nomination this year. Really? We know it may be hard to remember through the haze of some of Corgan's eccentricities through the years, but that doesn't detract from the massive impact that band had on music the same time as Pearl Jam. Maybe next year, Billy?

Janet Jackson is also on this year's list, so we're pulling that the Gary, Indiana native can celebrate both a new baby and membership in the Hall this year. The Midwestern band MC5 is also up for the Hall, and we think the Detroit band that mixed hard rock, verging on as-yet-officially undiscovered punk, with fiery political rhetoric is as rock and roll as it gets.

Also nominated this year is Jane's Addiction, which may be one of the most L.A. of L.A. bands, but still has ties to Chicago. In fact, due to Perry Farrell's involvement in the Chicago-based Lollapalooza, by this point it sometimes feels as if Jane's Addiction plays more shows here than anywhere else. And the band has always had "family" in Chicago, based on ties that extend decades back. Heck, after their Metro show in November, 1988 the band stayed in town to celebrate Thanksgiving with some of that venerable venue's staff, leading to lifelong friendships (and we'd argue, a love affair with Chicago). O.K., maybe it's a stretch, but we're claiming some small part of them as our own, anyway!

The full list of nominees :

Bad Brains
Joan Baez
The Cars
Chaka Khan
Chic (Seriously? How are they not in yet???!!!)
Depeche Mode
Electric Light Orchestra
J. Geils Band
Janet Jackson
Jane's Addiction
Joe Tex
Pearl Jam
Tupac Shakur
The Zombies