Linda Ronstadt, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band are also being inducted at a ceremony scheduled Thursday night in Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
Nirvana is being inducted in its first year of eligibility. The trio's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" hit like a thunderclap upon its 1991 release, briefly making the Pacific Northwest rock's hottest scene before the band ended abruptly with singer Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994.
Kiss, the band with elaborate makeup that promised to "Rock and Roll All Nite," brought drama to the ceremony. The band's two remaining original members, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, said they wouldn't perform with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, two other original members who had left.
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is due to introduce the British singer Gabriel, already voted into the hall of fame in 2010 as a member of Genesis. The writer of "Shock the Monkey," ''Sledgehammer" and "In Your Eyes" is being honored for his solo work.
The Philadelphia-bred duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates is known for a string of blue-eyed soul hits including "Sara Smile," ''Rich Girl," ''Private Eyes" and "Maneater." Another Philly musician, Questlove of the Roots, is to offer the induction speech.
Stevens, known for his 1970s era folk-rock hits like "Peace Train," ''Wild World" and "Morning Has Broken," renounced the rock 'n' roll life and converted to Islam. He's now known as Yusuf. He, Hall & Oates and Gabriel were all scheduled to perform Thursday.
Ronstadt, the sexy siren of the Los Angeles rock scene in the 1970s, is not expected at the event because her Parkinson's disease makes travel difficult. Glenn Frey, who performed in her backup band with Don Henley before they formed the Eagles, is due to induct her.
Springsteen's 1999 entrance into the rock hall without the E Street Band was a sore point for some of its members. Thursday they'll get their due in the sidemen category, although it will be a posthumous honor for saxman Clarence Clemons and keyboard player Danny Federici. Springsteen is set to perform with the band.
The 29th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is being taped by HBO to air in May.