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Meet The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2015 [Video]

Bill Withers, The Paul Butterfield Blues Bands, Lou Reeds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Green Day and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts are in.

WAR and The Smiths are not.

Here are the 2015 inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In for the Class of 2015 are:

  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band — Influential pioneers of the blues movement from the underground into the pop mainstream. They are the connecting line from Muddy Waters to Eric Clapton.
  • Green Day — In a way, they are similar to Paul, in that they made punk palatable to wide audiences, you could say they’re the line from The Sex Pistols to bands like Rise Against.
  • Joan Jett and The Blackhearts — Joan was already inducted as a member of the seminal rock band The Runaways, this time she was blown away by the inclusion of her long time backing bad, The Blackhearts. “It’s surreal and very humbling,” she told Rolling Stone. “It’s a culmination of all you’ve dreamed about doing as a musician. I’ve always been hopeful [that I’d get in] because I think it’s an incredible acknowledgment. I’m very proud to be with all these great musicians.”
  • Lou Reed — Reed was inducted in 1996 as a member of the Velvet Underground, and he will be honored posthumously at the event for his solo work.
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble — Another nod to a purveyor of straight ahead blues, the late Vaughan was a very influential guitarist, emerging from Austin, Texas great music scene.
  • Bill Withers — One of the smoothest R and B singers of the ’70s, Withers gave us classics like “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean On Me”. Withers, who hasn’t exactly been “active” on the scene for about 30 years, was just as surprised when he heard the news. “I never thought it was some kind of entitlement or something,” he offered. “I just never felt that anyone owed me this. It’s something that’s nice that happened. I guess I’ll have to go buy a suit.”  Good plan.

In other honors, the 1950s R&B group the 5 Royales will receive the Early Influence Award and Ringo Starr will be given the Award For Musical Excellence.

Artists are eligible for induction after the release of their first album or single. In other words, Green Day, whose debut EP, “1,000 Hours,” came out in 1989, are entering the institution in their first year of eligibility.

But did they deserve to get in over inductees such as Sting, The Spinners, War, Kraftwerk, Chic or The Marvelettes? That’s up to you to decide.

Either way, the induction ceremony will be held at Cleveland’s Public Hall on April 18, 2015. Once again, the general public will be allowed to attend, and tickets go on sale Thursday.

Sadly, the big shindig will only be attended by half of the central inductees: Butterfield died in 1987, Vaughan died in 1990 and, of course, Reed died last year.

Here’s some Paul Butterfield for you to sample.

And some Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Green Day.

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.

Bill Withers.

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