Here's what various panelists said about those artists--and some others:
* "I wouldn't take him in my Top 10, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want him at all. He'd be a steal in a draft if you could get him as a low pick. If he can cool out a while and get over all this King of Pop [expletive], he could still make wonderful music."
* "He's not only got an image problem with pop fans these days, but he's got an image problem within the industry. He is seen as such a pain to work with."
* "She is on a downward slide of her career . . . a point where everything is a struggle."
* "A survivor. She's like a cat with nine lives and she hasn't used them all up yet."
Guns N' Roses
* "Axl [Rose] is a great talent, but I'd be too concerned about him self-destructing. Besides, it's Guns N' Poses to most people by now."
* "No one loves Bruce more than I do, but I don't think he will be among the 10 biggest record-sellers of the next seven years in America."
* "He has cooled off, but he's still such an icon. You don't write that many good songs in your life and then go away."
* "He could be the singer-songwriter of the '90s, if he would spend more time on his own records rather than devote so much time to producing other people's records."
Mary J. Blige
* "To me, she is the most culturally significant black female artist of the '90s. She mirrors the reality of the times . . . the queen of Generation X."
* "She's just one crossover single away from being the young sophisticated diva. . . . Amazingly gifted."
* "I wouldn't touch her after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert appearance. She was just so average ."
* "She is far more talented than anyone has given her credit for and I believe she will be able to grow."
* "Too derivative."
* "I think the success of the debut record was beyond coincidence and timing, though there are elements of that in anyone's success. Adam Duritz is a star, a terrific talent."
* "He's generating lots of heat, but I get the feeling that he is a poseur."
* "The most soulful singer I've heard since Marvin Gaye."
* "Rap changes too swiftly to bet on many rap acts, but Dre is clearly the best rap producer in the business and he's great at developing new artists."
* "Big question--I'm just not that smart. One record, who knows?"
* "Billie Joe [Armstrong] isn't a one-note punk wonder. He's smart and can broaden his sound."
* "There's the stability issue, but I love the music."
* "Can't stand [Courtney Love]."
Hootie & the Blowfish
* "No depth."
* "Pure artistry . . . someone who breaks the mold of the cookie-cutter country artist. I don't think she even has her momentum going yet, and she has sold 2 million records."
* "I see them developing in the U2/R.E.M. vein, a band that will continue to grow for years, and I can't say that about most of the acts I see these days."
* "The only time you can put them in the U2/R.E.M. class is in their dreams."
Rage Against the Machine
* "Could be huge. They have already built a following in Europe and now their next album is one of the most eagerly awaited of anybody out there."
* "They may ride a wave of music that I don't truly understand--this meeting of metal and rap. But if it really hits, they vault into the Top 10."
* "A timeless quality" . . . "very charismatic live."
The Smashing Pumpkins
* "Billy Corgan may be the rock songwriter of the next 10 years. . . . A natural. I'd love to have them."
* "Quintessential cross between what was punk and what was heavy metal." . . . "Most stable of the Seattle bands."