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HALL OF FAME NOMINATING COMMITTEE MEETS
Peter Gabriel, Heart, Kenny Rogers and Ian Hunter Top First-Time Eligible List
How many years until Eminem is eligible?

Under increased pressure from billionaire Paul Allen's Experience Music Project, opening in Seattle June 23, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee met today in New York City to begin the procedure for selecting inductees for the 16th annual Induction Ceremony in 2001.

Among those eligible for the first time are artists whose debut album came out 25 years ago, including Peter Gabriel, Heart, Kenny Rogers, Ian Hunter, Heart, Rainbow, the Dictators and the odds-on favorites, the Captain & Tennille.

An initial list of 60 artists will be sent to the Nominating Committee members, which will be reduced to 30, with the 15 artists receiving the most votes on the final official ballot sent to the entire voting membership.

Politicking has already begun among and to the 76 members of the Nominating committee. First salvo was HK Management mailing out Chicago's first two albums with a simple card inscribed, "For Your Consideration." Other e-mail campaigns have begun for Miriam Makeba, Manu Dibango and Ry Cooder (U.K. bluesologist Charlie Gillett), Patti Smith (Claudia Perry), The Dells (Harry Weinger), Kraftwerk, Donna Summer and The Harptones (Tommy Silverman) and Carole King and Dionne Warwick (Billboard's Adam White).

The nominating process closes June 28, by which time we'll know if Handsome Dick Manitoba will be rocking Cleveland next year.

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