Here are E-Rockracy's predictions for the final nominees to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016:
Chicago - Currently leading the bot-driven, irretrievably corrupted fan vote, and it appears they will triumph. History is likely to repeat; all winners of the fan vote in the past 3 years have been inducted (Rush, KISS, Stevie Ray Vaughan). Plus, even avowed "rock guy" Eddie Trunk voted for them! So there's that.
N.W.A. - It just feels like their year, doesn't it? The critically and commercially well-received biopic helps immensely. Straight outta Compton and right up to that podium.
Janet Jackson - Besides the fact that people are loving her new album, she's a pop legend and MTV icon. There's a very short list of artists (Madonna comes to mind) that have had her level of success on both radio and MTV, deftly balancing sound and vision. Plus, the HBO broadcast needs a headliner with mainstream appeal for the broadcast in May, and she fits the bill.
Deep Purple - 3 previous nominations and perceived as one of the Rock Hall's biggest snubs. Since this year's nominee list surprisingly included FM radio staples like The Cars, Cheap Trick, and Steve Miller, there's some "clean up" going on, and I sense Deep Purple probably needs to get in before the others go. Their induction also clears the way in the future for other overdue hard rock/metal names like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, and Thin Lizzy.
Chic - Amusing thought: If Chic performs, they should substitute "10" for "Good" in their hit song "Good Times"... "10 Times... nom-in-at-ed 10 TIMES!" But I digress. No way they made the nominee list yet again if the Hall doesn't plan to simply sweep them in, regardless of any voting tallies. Nile Rodgers, if you're performing at Coachella in April, have a private jet ready, coordinates set for NYC.
Of course, predicting the Rock Hall is nearly impossible. If an inductee list of the Cars, Steve Miller, the Smiths, the Spinners and Yes was announced, I wouldn't be shocked (and even strangely happy with that list). But with the current nominee pool, it seems like the Cars, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, and Yes will be splitting votes, thereby cancelling each other out. If Chic suffered through a whopping 10 nominations, it's not a reach to think those acts will have to wait a few years too.
Here's a bonus prediction:
Inducted under "Early Influence": The J.B.'s - James Brown's band. Influential, but their inclusion in the nominee list seems strange. Nothing against their musical contribution, but nominee slots are limited, and inductee slots, even moreso. Ideally, the J.B.'s could be a special "add-on" inductee, much like 2012's backing band clearinghouse induction of the Crickets, Blue Caps, Comets, Midnighters, Miracles, and James Brown's other sidemen, the Famous Flames. The J.B.'s are likely to get in under a special category outside the 5 "Performer" slots, either "Early Infuence" or possibly "Musical Excellence."
Also, it's reasonable to anticipate a producer and/or a music industry veteran to be part of the December announcement as the Hall typically folds in some extra honorees.
...and, finally, just for fun, my personal five choices, if I had a ballot:
Bonus personal pick under "non-performer" or "musical excellence": Rick Rubin