The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for its 2023 class and some hometown heroes are among them. Soundgarden is on the shortlist of 14 artists that includes first-time nominees Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, The White Stripes, ’80s pop stars George Michael and Cyndi Lauper, ’70s rocker Warren Zevon, and U.K. post-punk/new wave pioneers Joy Division and New Order, who share members and are nominated jointly.

The Seattle rock lords were first nominated for the 2020 class, though they fell short of the votes needed for induction into the Cleveland music shrine. Having bolstered its hip-hop ranks in recent years, the Rock Hall seems to be extending a hand to the country crowd. (On the heels of Dolly Parton’s somewhat reluctant induction last year, fellow country hero and 89-year-old weed icon Willie Nelson feels like a shoo-in.)

Soundgarden isn’t the only one getting a second crack at the Rock Hall this year. The other repeat nominees are activist rap-rockers Rage Against the Machine, jazz-rap forefathers A Tribe Called Quest, British metal gods Iron Maiden, Motown greats The Spinners, and Kate Bush, who’s running up that hill for the fourth time.

Soundgarden’s fate is in the hands of the thousand or so artists, historians and industry folks who make up the Rock Hall’s voting body. The top five artists in an online fan poll, open through April 28 at, will each receive a vote. Soundgarden die-hards who immediately cranked “Black Hole Sun” or their favorite “Louder Than Love” deep cut upon reading the news can vote once per day. The class of 2023 will be revealed in May.

Over the course of its career, Soundgarden released three platinum albums and won a pair of Grammys while (more importantly) altering the course of rock music. Formed in 1984, Soundgarden was among the first wave of Seattle bands to develop the “grunge” sound that made the Emerald City the center of the rock universe during the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Using building blocks carved by the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and The Stooges, Soundgarden helped build a new breed of metallic, punk-infused rock ‘n’ roll, echoes of which still ring through rock radio. While hardly the first band to meld elements from once-disparate genres, Soundgarden did so in a way that transcended underground heroism and infiltrated the mainstream. Credit archetypal frontman Chris Cornell howling like a demonic Robert Plant over Kim Thayil’s unorthodox guitar tuning and odd time signatures, which pulled Soundgarden up from the underground by the dog tags.

Soundgarden broke up in 1997, reuniting 13 years later for an infamous Showbox gig that kick-started the second period of their career. The band released its sixth studio album “King Animal” in 2012 and continued touring until Cornell died in 2017. In 2021, surviving members Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd performed Soundgarden classics “Black Hole Sun” and “Searching With My Good Eye Closed” with Brandi Carlile at the Gorge Amphitheatre, marking their first Washington performance together since Cornell’s death.

If Soundgarden’s bid is successful, the group would join their grunge peers Nirvana (2014) and Pearl Jam (2017), which also features Cameron on drums, in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.