The initial list of nominees is out; only a few of these artists will be inducted. Here's who I see getting into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year.

Every year there's drama. Who gets in? Who is left behind? Who has been ignored again? "That's not rock and roll!" The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has released its list of nominees for the Class of 2021.

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Kate Bush
  • Devo
  • Foo Fighters
  • Go-Go's
  • Iron Maiden
  • Chaka Khan
  • Carole King
  • Fela Kuti
  • LL Cool J
  • The New York Dolls
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Tina Turner
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Dionne Warwick
  • JAY-Z

This field of sixteen artists will be narrowed down considerably in the voting process, with only 7 or 8 (at the most) being formally inducted. Here's how I see it.

Mary J. Blige: No, she is not "rock and roll" per se, but the Hall likes to be inclusive, so that gives her a shot. She writes more of her own material than most singers of her generation, but I don't think she gets in this time.

Kate Bush: Most only know her for her performance on Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up," but Kate Bush has an incredibly moving body of work. She's been considered twice before, I'm thinking the third time may be a charm for her.

Devo: Akron, Ohio- represent! These guys are more than one hit winders famous for "Whip It." Devo has been much more influential than that and the flowerpot headgear should be on display in Cleveland.

Foo Fighters: In. Book it.

Go-Go's: Unless it's a kind of make up call for dissing Pat Benatar in 2020, I don't think these ladies make the cut.

Iron Maiden: This might be the toughest call. I want to see the band get in, and I think they have the body of work to prove their worth and influence, but they are still very much an active band. They are not scraping together a living by playing their one big song on the county fair circuit- Maiden is still touring the world and making new music. I'm not saying you should be retired or dead before you get in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I'm just saying I'm not sure these Brits even really care about this right now. In the end, I say "yes," they make it in but don't forget Eddie.

Chaka Khan: Most of us only know her for the '80s hit "I Feel for You," but her name keeps coming up on this list again and again. Somebody really likes her and thinks she should be in. I don't agree.

Carole King: YES. She's been long overlooked as an incredible songwriter who was there at the beginning of this teen revolution in music that became known as "rock and roll." Plus, her Tapestry album turns 50 this year. Give the woman her due.

Fela Kuti: Honestly, I had to look him up. He'll need a P.R. campaign to get the vote. No.

LL Cool J: The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, N.W.A., Public Enemy and Run DMC are all part of the RRHoF family, why not LL as well? Ladies love cool James. I say he's in this year.

The New York Dolls: It doesn't get muc more rock and roll or much more influential than this. The RockHall will try to gain some credibility back by inducting these punks.

Rage Against the Machine: It's a "no" from me. Fans make good points about why they might be included here, but there are still so many who came before that have not been honored yet.

Tina Turner: It's time. Ms. Turner has long been an ambassador for music, first with Ike in the '60s and then reinventing herself in the '80s. The climate is right for this strong woman and her story to be recognized.

Todd Rundgren: It would surprise me if he was voted in this time. Runt has been considered before and has the credibility as a producer alone to be honored, but his uneven catalog is not seen as innovative and influential as it may have been.

Dionne Warwick: I don't think so. Too many see her only as the mouthpiece for Hal David and Burt Bacharach and not contributing enough on her own.

JAY-Z: Definitely.

So, my final ballot has nine artists being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2021. There's no way they're going to all make it in, so let's make some quick adjustments. Kate Bush is too British. Devo won't get enough support. Metal will be criminally ignored again this year and Iron Maiden gets left out after Foo Fighters get all of the rock vote. LL Cool J is overlooked as JAY-Z draws the support of the hip hop vote.

  1. Kate Bush
  2. Devo
  3. Foo Fighters
  4. Iron Maiden
  5. Carole King
  6. LL Cool J
  7. The New York Dolls
  8. Tina Turner
  9. JAY-Z

That leaves us with a much more likely and manageable five artists in the Class of 2021. But what do I know? I'm just the guy on the radio. Make your voice heard in the fan vote below.

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