(Reuters) - Rockers Nine Inch Nails, pop icon Janet Jackson and top-selling 1970s band Chicago were among the nominees announced on Thursday for induction in 2016 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The eclectic list of this year's nominees also ranges from 1970s-era acts such as Yes, The Cars, Steve Miller, Deep Purple and Cheap Trick, to so-called Queen of Funk Chaka Khan and disco sensation Chic, which has been nominated more than 10 times but has yet to gain entrance.
Rounding out the list of nominees for induction are alternative rock bank The Smiths, R & B group The Spinners, L.A. band Los Lobos, ground-breaking rappers N.W.A. and The J.B.'s.
"This group of nominees represents the spirit of what we celebrate at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," said Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.
They "underscore the diversity of rock music and where it converges with other genres ... Whether they drew from their predecessors or built on what came before them, they all took something from their roots, transformed it, made it their own."
Jackson, despite her decades-long status as a leading force in pop music, had never been nominated. The 49-year-old sister of pop legend Michael Jackson recently released her first album since 2008.
Artists are eligible to be nominated for induction into the Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first record. The hall was established in 1983.
More than 800 artists, music industry professionals and historians will decide who will be inducted. Fans will also be able to vote.
The top five artists selected by the public will comprise a "fans' ballot" that will be counted along with the other ballots to select the 2016 inductees.
Inductees are represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, which features exhibits, educational programs, a library and archives.
The Hall of Fame will announce those who are chosen in December, with an induction ceremony in New York scheduled for April 8.
Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Alan Crosby