20 (5) Artists Eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Next

As Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members AC/DC once sang, "It's a long way to the top, if you want to rock & roll" – and that's especially true if you want to join its hall of fame. An artist becomes eligible to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of his or her debut record. But that alone won't get an act in. To be considered, they must have demonstrated some contribution to the "development and perpetuation of rock & roll." This year, Nirvana join a list of artists that includes Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Elton John, among others, who were inducted in the first year of elibibility. Other artists wait years and years for inclusion, like Kiss who waited 15 before getting the nod this year. Here's a look at 20 artists who will become eligible for induction over the next five years, why they might make it in and whether or not their induction will be a smooth process.

Year Eligible: 2016
Debut Album: 2Pacalypse Now (1991)
Why He Should Be Inducted: From his "Thug Life" belly tat to his ability of shifting from a tender single like "Keep Ya Head Up" to "Pour Out a Little Liquor" to challenging Biggie Smalls on "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" a few years later, he was a rock star through and through. Before his death at age 25, 2Pac recorded five albums, one album with the group Thug Life, and enough material for six posthumous albums and one record with Outlawz. With a string of multiplatinum records to his name, his legacy is big enough to warrant Dr. Dre bringing him out as a hologram at his 2012 Coachella appearance.
Possible Drama: None, as long as his hologram does not accept the honor.

Pearl Jam
Year Eligible: 2016
Debut Album: Ten (1991)
Why They Should Be Inducted: The group thought better of their original name, Mookie Blaylock, and, as Pearl Jam, issued one of the best-selling debut albums in history, Ten, which has been certified 13 times platinum. Moreover, they made a name for themselves while taking on the music industry, specifically Ticketmaster, and professing pro-choice ideology in the early Nineties. To their credit, all but one of their studio albums has sold at least gold.
Possible Drama: Other than suffering "exploding drummer syndrome," à la Spinal Tap – and note, their fifth drummer, Matt Cameron, has held onto his job since 1998 – the group's lineup has remained consistent since forming in 1990. Only drummer Dave Abbruzzese – who was ousted after recording the group's last multiplatinum record, Vitalogy – has expressed any bad blood but he has since said he no longer harbors hard feelings.

Smashing Pumpkins
Year Eligible: 2016
Debut Album: Gish (1991)
Why They Should Be Inducted: Aside from being one of the most distinctive voices of the alt-rock era, Smashing Pumpkins managed to score a diamond-selling album for Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness at a time when buying double-CDs required a promissory note for the buyer's first-born. They got thousands of kids to walk around with T-shirts that said "Zero" on them and, even after a messy breakup and a complete overhaul of their lineup, still manage to play arenas.
Possible Drama: Depends on who gets an invite. Smashing Pumpkins is Billy's baby, and although the group currently contains no other original members, the possibility of the reunion is unlikely. Corgan has placed blame on guitarist James Iha for breaking up the group, which Iha refuted, and called bassist D'arcy Wretzky a "mean-spirited drug addict." Neither has played in Pumpkins since Y2K was a thing.

Mariah Carey
Year Eligible: 2015
Debut Album: Mariah Carey
Why She Should Be Inducted: Aside from holding the Guinness World Records for the Biggest Record Deal and Most Consecutive Weeks at Number One for a single at one point or another, Carey has reportedly sold more than 200 million records worldwide and has had more Number One songs than any other solo artist. Over the past two decades, she's claimed the Top Spot more times than Elvis.
Possible Drama: None, as long as no one flips the script if and when she is inducted. Last year, Carey issued a "diva in distress" missive apologizing for one of her employees posting the wrong mix of her new single "The Art of Letting Go." "There's no doubt in my mind that this sounds like a self-absorbed diva on a 'woe-is-me' tangent about a couple of adlibs or some other triviality," she wrote, "but the reality is this is me, focusing solely on the record, wanting you to hear it and experience it the right way."

Green Day
Year Eligible: 2015
Debut Album: 39/Smooth (1990)
Why They Should Be Inducted: What other band of punks could serve as the connecting thread between 924 Gilman Street and Broadway? From their humble beginnings as snotty iconoclasts singing about masturbation to winning two Tony Awards for American Idiot, Green Day have truly redefined punk without abandoning the ethos of rock & roll.
Possible Drama: None. Despite a mini-breakdown following the release of ¡Uno!, when frontman Billie Joe Armstrong unleashed an angry screed on Justin Bieber at a festival and later sought substance-abuse treatment, the frontman has since been rehabilitated. The group is even putting out an LP of demos on Record Store Day.