Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Joan Baez, Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2017. The six acts will officially join the club at the Rock Hall’s 32nd annual induction ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 7. Excerpts from the event will be broadcast by HBO.
The induction of Yes, following two previous nominations, will occur one year shy of the legendary progressive rock band's 50th anniversary.
"What an honor this is for us and all involved with the history of this band," Yes guitarist Steve Howe said. "We thank all the Yes fans who have been so passionate over the decades, and helped us to keep the flag flying. It is the fans who have constantly demanded our inclusion. They have been heard."
"We look forward to accepting this esteemed award next spring in honor of our fallen brother, Chris Squire, who would have been delighted to see his musical vision finally receive such recognition," drummer Alan White added.
Members who were part of the "Union" tour will be inducted. This includes current members White and Howe, the band's late bassist and founding member Chris Squire, and former members Jon Anderson (vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and Trevor Rabin (guitar).
Howe, White and Wakeman are all featured in the new book, Conversations With The Masters: The VintageRock.com Interviews.
Electric Light Orchetra's induction follows leader Jeff Lynne’s successful revival of the brand, and his return to touring, including two sold-out nights at the Hollywood Bowl.
“I’m very proud to see my ELO music getting this great recognition,” said Lynne, who already has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “It’s a big honor to be nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.”
It's not entirely clear who else from ELO will join Lynne in the hall, although it's likely co-founding members Roy Wood (multiple instruments) and Bev Bevan (drums)
Journey, whose “Don’t Stop Believin’” has become one of rock’s most enduring power ballads, was nominated for the first time, despite having been eligible for 16 years.
"We'll be in the middle of a big tour, but we'll be there," the band's original and present guitarist Neal Schon told Rolling Stone magazine. "I'm hoping that Steve Perry will get up and do something with us. We'll have to see."
Gregg Rolie (keyboards), who co-founded Journey (and was inducted with Santana), is also featured in Conversations With The Masters: The VintageRock.com Interviews.
Joan Baez he is the only woman among the inductees this year, and she is only the third to be inducted over the last four ceremonies. Baez's entry raises the possibility of an induction speech by Bob Dylan.
No word has come from Pearl Jam, although guitarist Mike McCready told Rolling Stone in May: "It would be a great honor,"
Pearl Jam, part of Seattle's grunge movement, found success early with Ten, their 1991 debut that went on to sell more than 13 million copies. Eddie Vedder (vocals), Stone Gossard (guitars), Mike McCready (guitar) and Jeff Ament (bass), along with original drummer Dave Krusen and current drummer Matt Cameron will be part of the band's induction.
Tupac Shakur, who was murdered in 1996, is the sixth hip-hop artist to join the hall of fame. At press time, it is unclear who will accept the award for Shakur.