If music lovers have anything to say about it, Pat Benatar, The Doobie Brothers and Soundgarden can start making plans to be in Cleveland next year. The three artists have jumped out to an early lead in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Fan Vote.
With more than a million ballots already cast, Depeche Mode and Judas Priest round out the top five, with Dave Matthews Band, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, Motörhead and Thin Lizzy all in striking distance, according to the real-time leaderboard on the hall’s website.
ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME FAN VOTE RESULTS (as of Noon on 10/18):
Pat Benatar – 117,990
The Doobie Brothers – 105,993
Soundgarden – 104,257
Depeche Mode – 93,694
Judas Priest – 86,301
The Notorious B.I.G., Todd Rundgren, T.Rex, Kraftwerk, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan and MC5 are all far off the pace, but the Fan Vote is only one small component of the process. The top five choices will simply make up one ballot that will be counted among the hundreds of others submitted by artists, historians and industry insiders.
But that doesn’t mean the early fan voting numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. Past winners have frequently mirrored the final results, and president and CEO Greg Harris says the number of votes shows how connected fans feel to the artists.
"For each vote cast, there’s probably a concert memory, there could’ve been a wedding dance, there could’ve been a high school experience tied to all of them, even those that are not in the top five, those fans have those memories and those connections and this music has been so central to our lives,” he told USA Today.
Acts are eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording. The official inductees will be announced in January, with the ceremony being held in Cleveland on May 2nd.