The late rapper takes his place alongside fellow Class of 2017 newcomers Joan Baez, Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra, Yes and Journey.

Producer, songwriter and guitarist Nile Rodgers will receive the Award for Musical Excellence. His disco group Chic was nominated for the 11th time in the performer category, but did not gain admittance.

 Tupac and Pearl Jam are being inducted during their first year of eligibility, as the Hall will only consider performers 25 years after the release of their first single or album (1991, for this group). Baez, Journey and ELO also are first-time nominees.

The 2017 class signifies a broad definition of rock and roll music, Hall of Fame CEO Joel Peresman tells USA TODAY. “Rock and roll means so many things to so many different people,” he says. “To have a class that has everything from Joan Baez to Tupac Shakur, from Pearl Jam to Yes, is terrific. It gives a lot of people something to hang onto.”

Of course, some haters chafe at the thought of Rock Hall inductees considered to be outside the rock genre. Tupac’s nomination drew such a response, as did earlier hip-hop inductees, such as N.W.A., Public Enemy and Grandmaster Flash.

Peresman disagrees. “It’s a broad definition and we consider hip-hop an important part of the whole genre.”

The inductees are part of a group of 19 nominees. More than 900 voters from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation were eligible to vote. Additionally, fans were given a vote online. Journey, ELO, Yes and Pearl Jam were the top four, respectively, in the online vote. Journey, the top vote recipient, received 13% of the nearly 1.9 million fan ballots cast. The aggregate of the fan vote counted as a ballot in the official voting.

The 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, April 7, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for the third time. Ticket on-sale dates will be announced in January. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2017 Induction Ceremony will again have its television premiere on HBO, and a radio broadcast on SiriusXM. Broadcast details will be announced in early 2017.

A special exhibit featuring the inductees will open March 30 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, with the new hall members being honored at the 32nd annual induction ceremony on April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.


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