The Hall of Fame's mission, according to its website, is to "recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll."
The Beastie Boys, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer and Donovan were nominated last year but not inducted.
"The 2012 nominees embody the broad scope of what 'rock and roll' means," Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President and CEO Joel Peresman said in a press release. "From vocal groups to hip-hop, from singer-songwriters to hard rocking artists, this group represents the spirit of what we celebrate at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
The Hall of Fame, based in Cleveland, inducts several of each year's nominees. In 2011 it inducted the Alice Cooper Band, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, Tom Waits and Leon Russell alongside label founders Jac Holzman of Elektra Records and Art Rupe of Specialty Records.
In 2007, the Hall began inducting hip-hop acts, starting with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The 2012 nominees include the returning Beastie Boys and the DJ/MC duo of Eric B. & Rakim.
The only official requirement for a Hall of Fame nomination is having released material at least 25 years ago. Record sales are not considered important. Nominees for 2012 must have released their first singles or albums no later than 1986.
The 27th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held April 14, 2012 in Cleveland.