Rush, Deep Purple, Public Enemy and N.W.A. are among the group of first-time nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

They join returnees Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Randy Newman, Donna Summer and Kraftwerk among the 15 artists vying for entry.

Even in the iPod age, the list of nominees up for induction in 2013 is as eclectic as they come. Nominees differ wildly in sound, origin and influence, ranging from the enduring prog rock of Canadian trio Rush and Procul Harum to German proto-electronica act Kraftwerk, the disco of Chic and Summer to the New Orleans funk of The Meters and the blues of Albert King and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Motown also is represented by first-ballot entries The Marvelettes.

Rush long overlooked

Toronto-based Rush has been eligible for nomination since 1998, but this is the first year it has earned a place on the long list of candidates, despite a large and loyal fan base and a long list of young musicians who pay tribute to their influence.

Rush declined a request for interviews, but posted the following statement on their website:

"We are honored to be among the nominees for this year’s Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. We are especially thrilled for the many, many dedicated Rush fans to whom this nomination is so very important." – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart.

Musicians from Trent Reznor to Les Claypool to Kirk Hammett to Billy Corgan cite the band as an important influence on their work. The band received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award earlier this year. 

Rush released their self-titled debut in 1974, but it wasn't until drummer/lyricist Neil Peart joined the band the following year that Rush's musical style began to evolve. Peart, a lover of science fiction and fantasy, was  a strong influence on 1975's Fly by Night.

Many Rush songs make literary allusions. The band's reached the peak of their popularity with Moving Pictures in 1981 and Tom Sawyer, from that album, is one of their best-known songs. Their latest record, Clockwork Angels, came out earlier this year.

Rush is currently on tour on their Clockwork Angels Tour. The tour includes several stops in Canada and will wrap up next year in Europe. The band was elected into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994.

Eclectic group of nominees

Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, acknowledged the extreme variety of this year's nominee class in a Thursday news release.

"The definition of 'rock and roll' means different things to different people, but as broad as the classifications may be, they all share a common love of the music," Peresman said. "This year we again proudly put forth a fantastic array of groups and artists that span the entire genre that is 'rock and roll."'

A group of 600 artists, music historians and members of the industry will choose 2013's inductees. They will be honoured April 18 in Los Angeles.

It's the sixth time on the ballot for Summer, but the first since her death in May at age 63. Chic is on the ballot for the seventh time since 2003.