Green Day, Sting, Withers, Smiths are first-time rock hall nominees

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NEW YORK — The punk trio Green Day, the short-lived British band The Smiths, "Lean on Me" singer Bill Withers and Sting are among the first-time nominees for enshrinement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Six of the 15 nominees for the hall's Class of 2015 announced Thursday are on the ballot for the first time. More than 700 artists and other members of the music community will vote on the inductees, with the results announced in December.

Other first-time nominees are the abrasive rockers Nine Inch Nails and the late blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. To be eligible, a musician had to release a recording in 1989 or earlier.

With its ninth nomination since 2003, Chic is once again hoping for some good times. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was nominated for the fourth time. New York rocker Lou Reed, who died last October, was nominated for the third time and the first since 2001.

Other nominees are Joan Jett and her band, the Blackhearts; German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk; Motown's The Marvelettes; the Los Angeles rap collective N.W.A.; Philly soul singers The Spinners and the rock and soul band War.

With "Dookie" and "American Idiot," Green Day scored two of the biggest albums of the 1990s and 2000s. Withers, who hasn't released new music in nearly three decades, had a string of 1970s era hits "Ain't No Sunshine," ''Just the Two of Us" and "Lovely Day."

Sting is already in the rock hall as a member of The Police. The Smiths, a quartet led by the duo of singer-songwriter Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, had an intense five-year run in the 1980s before crumbling. Nine Inch Nails' signature hit, "Hurt," was memorably covered by Johnny Cash.

The 2015 induction ceremony will be held in April in Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Television plans have not been announced.

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