Bon Jovi, Nina Simone, Moody Blues newest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees

Randy Lewis
Los Angeles Times

New Jersey rock group Bon Jovi and its fans can stop living on a prayer: The band is headed into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, along with the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, Nina Simone and pioneering gospel singer-guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

The Cleveland-based institution unveiled its newest roster of inductees on Wednesday morning, adding another handful of honorees to more than 300 previous inductees.

The Rock Hall’s voting membership, consisting of more than 900 music critics, record executives, managers and other industry insiders, closely matched the results of the hall’s fan voting, which began after this year’s nominees were announced in October. Fan voting adds just a single vote to the overall totals for the top five vote-getters but, nevertheless, lets the voting body know in no uncertain terms whom the public most wants to see enshrined within its walls.

Bon Jovi topped the fan balloting with 1.16 million votes, followed by the Moody Blues (947,000 votes), Dire Straits (613,000), the Cars (552,000) and the only fan favorite that didn’t make the final cut, heavy metal band Judas Priest, which collected 538,000 fan votes.

Other nominees who will have to wait to see if another year will bring them into the Rock Hall are rapper LL Cool J, Eurythmics, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Kate Bush, J. Geils Band, Detroit proto-punk group MC5, the Meters, Link Wray, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Depeche Mode and the Zombies.

Simone is being inducted after making the nominee list for the first time. She was the subject of an acclaimed 2015 documentary, “What Happened, Miss Simone?” that helped refresh voters’ memories of her role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and her deeply emotive vocal style.

Electric-guitar wielding gospel singer Tharpe is being inducted for her early impact, having exerted her influence over such rock ‘n’ roll pioneers as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.

The induction of veteran English art-rock band the Moody Blues will quell a raft of fans who have consistently, and loudly, made their voices heard each year the group was overlooked.

Although the Moodys became eligible in 1989 under the hall’s requirement that 25 years elapse after an act’s first recording, the group perhaps best known for its 1967 ambitious and heavily orchestrated concept album “Days of Future Passed,” and the single it yielded, “Nights in White Satin,” appeared on the nominees list for the first time this year.

The induction dinner and ceremony will be held in April in Cleveland. Among the planned events is a new Hall of Fame experience that is part of the organization’s multi-year, multimillion dollar upgrade, according to a hall spokesman.

The ceremony will be filmed for a highlights special that HBO will premiere several weeks later.