DETROIT (Billboard) - KISS, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis, the Hollies, LL Cool J and Jimmy Cliff are first-time contenders for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, organizers said Wednesday.
They join returning candidates ABBA, the Chantels, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, the Stooges and Donna Summer.
Five of the 12 nominees will be chosen for induction from ballots cast by more than 500 music industry voters. An announcement of the inductees is expected in January, and the Hall's 25th annual induction ceremony will take place March 15 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. Broadcast plans have not yet been announced.
Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith told Billboard.com that "it's a real honor to be nominated in our first year of eligibility. Obviously the Hall of Fame has excellent musical taste."
But the year's big story could turn out to be KISS, which has been eligible since 1999 but, like shock-rock predecessor Alice Cooper, has famously been snubbed by the Hall's nominating committee and has made some harsh comments about the organization in the past.
But co-founder Paul Stanley said he and partner Gene Simmons would face a dilemma over which of their former bandmates should join them.
"There's been a lot of people who've been a part of this, some longer than others .. and some who deserve recognition more than others," Stanley explained. "Even the non-makeup years produced some platinum and double-platinum albums, and we had some very healthy sales in terms of albums and concerts through the '80s and '90s. So if we should ever be asked to accept induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it would be something to think about."
The ballot lists the four founding members of KISS -- Stanley and Simmons alongside Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Hollies co-founder Graham Nash is already in the Hall of Fame with Crosby, Stills & Nash (1997), but said he was "very thrilled" to hear about the Hollies nomination.
"There's a long way form here to actually being inducted," noted Nash, who was with the group from 1962-68. "I truly believe the Hollies deserve to be inducted. They were a large part of the early history of what we know as rock 'n' roll. I would be particularly thrilled for (retired lead singer) Allan Clarke. That's where my heart goes. I'm already in there, but it would be a thrill for me to see it happen for" the Hollies.
Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after their first single or album release. While the ballots are being mailed to voters, the Hall of Fame is also preparing for its 25th anniversary concerts on October 29-30 at New York's Madison Square Garden, along with the release of a nine-DVD boxed set, "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live," and the publication of a book, "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years."
Editing by DGoodman at Reuters