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Legendary 'Gangsta' Rappers NWA Elected to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

  • VOA News

FILE - Los Angeles rap group N.W.A. members Dr. Dre, left, and Ice Cube join a quartet of 1970s-era FM radio rockers as inductees in the 2016 class at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, announced Dec. 17, 2015.

FILE - Los Angeles rap group N.W.A. members Dr. Dre, left, and Ice Cube join a quartet of 1970s-era FM radio rockers as inductees in the 2016 class at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, announced Dec. 17, 2015.

The pioneering rap group N.W.A. heads the list of 2016 inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

British rock band Deep Purple, jazz-rock fusion group Chicago, rockers Cheap Trick and singer-guitarist Steve Miller will join N.W.A. when the group is inducted in a formal ceremony on April 8 in New York City's Barclays Center.

FILE - Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson of the band Cheap Trick perform in concert at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Pa., June 6, 2014.

FILE - Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson of the band Cheap Trick perform in concert at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Pa., June 6, 2014.

​N.W.A., founded by rap legends Dr. Dre and Ice Cube in the 1990s in the troubled suburb of Los Angeles, introduced "gangsta" rap to American culture with their hardcore, true life tales of street violence and police brutality.

The group has sold over 100 million albums during its career and influenced dozens of future rappers, including Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent.

FILE - British rock band Deep Purple present their golden record they received in West Berlin for the sales of their latest album, "Deep Purple in Rock," in West Germany, Sept. 1, 1971.

FILE - British rock band Deep Purple present their golden record they received in West Berlin for the sales of their latest album, "Deep Purple in Rock," in West Germany, Sept. 1, 1971.

​N.W.A.'s induction into the Hall caps a year in which a major motion picture about the group's early days, Straight Outta Compton, became a box office hit.

Deep Purple has defined the nature of hard rock since its beginnings in the late 1960s, along with compatriots and fellow Hall inductees Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.

FILE - James Pankow, Walter Parazaider and Lee Loughnane of Chicago perform in Hollywood, Fla., April 4, 2013.

FILE - James Pankow, Walter Parazaider and Lee Loughnane of Chicago perform in Hollywood, Fla., April 4, 2013.

​U.S.-based Cheap Trick is being recognized for bridging the gap "between the fierce clowning of early punk and the accidental-on-purpose humor of metal, without ever sounding a bit like either."

Miller scored a number of hits in the 1970s and 80s, including Take the Money and Run, and Fly Like an Eagle.

FILE - Steve Miller performs at the 25th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards, in Los Angeles, April 9, 2008.

FILE - Steve Miller performs at the 25th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards, in Los Angeles, April 9, 2008.

The group Chicago also enjoyed pop chart success with such classics as the romantic ballad If You Leave Me Now and Saturday in the Park.

Among the artists who were on the 2016 ballots but failed to gain entry into the hall were singer Janet Jackson, British progressive rock band Yes and 1970s disco-era Chic, who have now fallen short for 10 straight years.

Performers are eligible for induction into the Cleveland, Ohio-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording, and are voted on by a pool of 800 members of the Hall of Fame Foundation.

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