The original line-up of The Smiths could take to the stage again after they were listed as one of 15 possible new members of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The band, powered by the songwriting partnership of guitarist Johnny Marr and singer Morrissey, split up in 1987 and regularly dismiss rumours of a potential reunion.
They are up against other nominees including Sting, Lou Reed and Kraftwerk with fans being asked to vote for their favourites alongside hundreds of industry insiders who also have a say.
Other first-time nominees are punk trio Green Day, Lean On Me singer Bill Withers, abrasive rockers Nine Inch Nails and the late blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.
The hall of fame, based in the US city of Cleveland, praised the band’s “60s pop music” sound which it said was “fused with smart, jabbing social and personal observations” and singled out Morrissey’s “distinctive baritone wail” and Marr’s “guitar genius”.
The original line-up, which also included drummer Mike Joyce and bass guitarist Andy Rourke, have not been together since the band split and Joyce and Rourke took legal action to win a higher share of the band’s royalties from Morrissey and Marr.
If the band’s entry to the hall of fame is confirmed, all four original members will be invited to the ceremony.
Acts are only eligible for nomination 25 years after releasing their first single or album.
Earlier this week, Morrissey revealed he had been treated for cancer and hinted he might be ready to retire from music.
The singer cancelled a string of US gigs this year and has already said he had been treated for a condition which in rare cases can lead to cancer.