The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations are in, and yes, they do rock! This year's ballot includes a wealth of heavier rock acts who could eventually have their name called early next year when the eventual induction class is announced.

As the news spread on this year's nomination ballot, a number of representatives from the acts started to speak about the nominations. For Soundgarden, it's the first time being on the Rock Hall ballot, something that definitely pleased Chris Cornell's widow, Vicky Cornell. She tweeted, "Congratulations @SOUNDGARDEN! I'm so proud and know Chris would be so proud. Thank you @rockhall #chriscornellforever #mattcameron #kimthayil #benshephard #hiroyamamoto."

Guitarist Kim Thayil also spoke with Billboard about the nomination, explaining, "When I was first told I wasn't sure which end is up because of the jet lag. Then I took some time and wrapped my head around it, and I felt good. I thought this is important, especially for the legacy of Soundgarden, and for Chris' legacy. It's really important now to understand this from the perspective of the fans and to understand Soundgarden as both a current enterprise as well as a posthumous exercise."

He went on to add that it's bittersweet with Cornell not being here to accept the honor. Thayil added, "He would be pleased with it. That's certainly different from where we were maybe in the '80s and early '90s, but I know from Chris attending one or two (induction ceremonies) and inducting Heart that he saw the significance of it and saw how important it was to the fans and to the bands being inducted, and he said, 'Yes, this is very important and it's cool,' so he would be very excited."

For Judas Priest, it's their second go around on the Rock Hall ballot. Singer Rob Halford told Billboard that it was "still a big buzz the second time around." He continued, "It's just another thrill, again, to be nominated, and so quickly because I know sometimes the nominations can get stretched out for quite a long period of time. So to get another one so quickly is wonderful and another great moment for the Priest and for our fans."

The rocker also addressed what it meant for metal to be recognized, adding, "There's always a tinge of controversy about the Hall, but the fact that Priest is here again speaks volumes about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame respecting heavy metal music, especially British heavy metal music. I'm so thrilled to be in esteemed company because both of those bands have their roots back in the U.K. We're very big friends of Scott Gorham from Thin Lizzy and equally with Phil (Taylor) and Mikkey (Dee) from Motorhead. It's just an extra, extra feeling to know that we're surrounded by our great friends in the music world."

Meanwhile, '70s rock radio favorites the Doobie Brothers are also getting their first Rock Hall nomination. "We're all honored to be nominated," co-founder guitarist Tom Johnston told Billboard. "I'm sure we've all paused to reflect, and I think I speak for all the other guys when I say that it seems rather odd we haven't been selected before. But at the same time we don't take it for granted and we are honored to be nominated, and if we can just carry it all the way to getting in it would be awesome."

Guitarist Patrick Simmons adds that he's "proud of the band and would love to see it recognized in any capacity that anybody wants to put forth. Something like this comes along and I just go, 'Yeah, we've been wishing it would happen' and our fans have been pushing and writing letters and everything. So now at least we're getting the nomination and, damn, that means a lot to me."

All of the Rock Hall nominees can be found here. As in past years, fans will have a chance to get their say with the "Rock Hall Fan Vote" kicking off today and running through 11:59PM ET on Jan. 10, 2020. The top five vote getters will then comprise the "fan ballot" that will be tallied alongside the international voting body of artists, music historians and members of the music industry. You can vote at the website.

The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class will be announced in January 2020, with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony taking place at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland on May 2.

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