Joan Jett, the Cure, Eric B. & Rakim among first-timers

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rolled out a typically diverse field of nominees for 2012 on Tuesday, prefacing the induction ceremony on April 14 in Cleveland.

Cutting across genres from folk-rock to rap, nominees include first-timers Freddie King, the Small Faces/Faces, the Spinners, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Cure, Guns N’ Roses and Eric B. & Rakim and returnees Donovan, Laura Nyro, War, Donna Summer, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys.

Women are well-repped on the shortlist this year by ex-Runaway Jett, Seattle’s rock sister act Heart, Khan’s rocking R&B unit, singer-songwriter Nyro and disco goddess Summer. A cross-section of African-American talent is also up for induction, including bluesman King, R&B unit the Spinners, rock-soul-Latin crossbreed War and rap pioneers Eric B. & Rakim.

A ballot of 500 industry voters will determine the ’12 inductees.

Next year’s Hall of Fame induction week will include the grand opening of the facility’s library and archives and unveiling of the redesigned museum exhibit space. Festivities will be back in Cleveland following a return to New York’s Waldorf Astoria in 2011.

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