(Sorry if this is redundant).
EDIT: The Induction Process
Leaders in the music industry joined together in 1983 to establish the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. One of the Foundation’s many functions is to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame.
Performers -</b> Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artist’s contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.
The Foundation’s nominating committee, composed of rock and roll historians, selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of about 1,000 rock experts. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes, and more than 50 percent of the vote, are inducted. The Foundation generally inducts five to seven performers each year.
Non-Performers - Songwriters, producers, disc jockeys, record executives, journalists and other industry professionals who have had a major influence on the development of rock and roll.
Early Influences - Artists whose music predated rock and roll but had an impact on the evolution of rock and roll and inspired rock’s leading artists. (The special selection committee elects the inductees in the Non-performer and Early Influences categories).
Side Men -This category was introduced in 2000. It honors those musicians who have spent their career out of the spotlight, performing as backup musicians for major artists on recording sessions and in concert. Though they often play a key role in the creation of memorable music, the public rarely knows them by name. A separate committee, composed primarily of producers, selects the inductees in this category.