NEW YORK –
All are among the nine nominees for enshrinement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. A panel of 500 industry experts will select five to be inducted at the annual ceremony, to be held March 12 in New York City.
To be eligible, artists must have issued a first single or album at least 25 years prior to nomination.
Van Halen and R.E.M. came from opposite sides of the 1980s rock 'n' roll spectrum. Led by cartoonish frontman David Lee Roth and fleet-fingered guitarist Eddie Van Halen, the California quartet was a hard rock favorite with songs like "Jump" and "Hot for Teacher." R.E.M., meanwhile, was the quintessential indie rock band until breaking through to mass success in the early 1990s.
Grandmaster Flash led the most innovative act in early hip-hop, and the song "The Message" was like a letter from urban America.
Chic, a funk group led by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, were one of the few acts to dominate the disco era and emerge with their reputation intact through songs such as the wedding band favorite "Good Times."
Other nominees include Patti Smith, the punk rock poet who recently presided over the closing of New York's legendary CBGB nightclub; British invader the Dave Clark Five; Phil Spector favorites the Ronettes; soul singer Joe Tex; and the Stooges, early home of Iggy Pop.