The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, established in 1983 and located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, is dedicated to recording the history of some of the best-known and most influential musicians, bands, producers, and others that have in some major way influenced the music industry, particularly in the area of rock and roll. Originally, there were four categories of induction: performers, non-performers, early influences, and lifetime achievement. In 2000, "sidemen" was introduced as a category while that year also marked the last time for nine years that early influences would be inducted.
The only category that has seen new inductees every single year is the performers category. Artists become eligible for induction in that category 25 years after the release of their first record. In order to be inducted, an artist must be nominated by a committee that selects anywhere from nine to a dozen candidates. Ballots are then sent to 600 "rock experts" who evaluate the candidates and vote on who should be inducted. The performers that receive the highest number of votes and more than 50 percent of the vote are inducted. In 2010, the number inducted was five. The rest of the categories are voted on by special committees. New inductees are honored at an annual ceremony held either in New York or every three years at the Hall of Fame city in Cleveland.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has garnered criticism for allegedly allowing the nomination process to be controlled by a few individuals, nominating too many artists in too many genres that are not entirely rock, ignoring entire rock genres, and using technicalities to induct groups who may not have been among the top vote getters. The surviving members of the Sex Pistols, who were inducted in 2006, refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum a "piss stain."