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Nirvana, Kiss lead Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014 class

Nirvana is the only act on the Rock

Nirvana is the only act on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list to have been nominated in its first year of eligibility. The kings of the grunge era, led by the late Kurt Cobain, are eligible because their first single, “Love Buzz,” was released in 1988. Credit: Everett Collection

Nirvana and Kiss lead this year’s class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, with their celebration set to be the first ceremony open to the public in New York.

Also set to be inducted at the Barclays Center on April 10 are: Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens. The E Street Band will receive the Award for Musical Excellence, while Beatles manager Brian Epstein and original Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

Nirvana  Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic – received the honor in its first year of eligibility, as its single, “Love Buzz,” arrived in 1988, even though their breakthrough didn’t come until the 1991 release of “Nevermind.” Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after their first recording.

On the other hand, Kiss – Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley – have been eligible for 15 years, a slight their fans of the “Rock and Roll All Nite” band have become increasingly angry about for years.

The E Street Band induction solves another long-argued Rock Hall issue, since they were not included when Bruce Springsteen was inducted in 1999.

Inducted in 2010 as part of Genesis, Gabriel will now be in the Rock Hall twice, after his selection as a solo artist. Both Ronstadt and Stevens have long been considered for induction, with Ronstadt’s honor perhaps becoming more pressing after her recent revelation that she is battling Parkinson’s disease.

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Hall and Oates have been eligible for 16 years, but their pop-friendly brand of Philly soul has only recently started to be given its due. “It was a bit of a surprise to me,” Hall told Rolling Stone. “I've always been sort of on the other side of the fence with the old guard and the powers that be. . .This whole new generation of people are looking at me and John in a different way.”

In a statement, Nirvana’s Grohl said he was speechless. “From the basements, to the dingy clubs, to the broken down vans, to... the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he said. “I'd like to thank the committee not only for this induction, but also for recognizing Nirvana for what we were: pure rock and roll. Most of all, thank you to all of the fans that have supported rock and roll throughout the years, and to Kurt and Krist, without whom I would not be here today.”

Novoselic also thanked the Rock Hall voters. “This is a great honor,” he said. “Thank you most of all to Kurt Cobain. And to everyone who's kept Rock music going strong for 60 years and counting.”

The six artists were selected by artists and music industry experts from a list of 13 nominees, including Bay Shore native LL Cool J, who didn’t make the cut this year. The other nominees this year were: Paul Butterfield Band, Chic, Deep Purple, The Meters, N.W.A., and The Replacements. (Full disclosure: My five votes went to Chic, Hall and Oates, LL Cool J, Nirvana and The Replacements.)

Tickets for the induction ceremony at Barclays Center will go on sale in January. HBO will air an edited version of the show in May.

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