The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces 2020 Inductees

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 inductees include Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, Notorious B.I.G. 

The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee lists snubs its top two fan vote-getters – Dave Matthews Band and Pat Benatar – but finally acknowledges Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails while crowning four first-time ballot names.

The Doobie Brothers, Notorious B.I.G., T-Rex and Whitney Houston will enter after their debut appearance on the ticket, joining the industrial-synth focused Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode, both previously nominated twice.

Houston, who died in 2012, had deep Atlanta ties, having lived in Alpharetta with Bobby Brown in the mid-2000s. 

The inductees signal the Hall’s determination to celebrate an assortment of genres. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. 

Michael McDonald, who will be inducted with the Doobie Brothers, told Rolling Stone magazine, “Each of those bands has helped shape the form that rock & roll has taken over the years. That’s what I like to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame do: pick those bands that have sculpted what we see rock & roll as today.”

Along with DMB and Benatar, other artists who failed to earn enough votes from the voting body of 1,000 artists, historians, current living inductees and music industry members were Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy.

In recent years, the act generating the most fan votes, which counts as one collective vote, has been inducted (Def Leppard, Kiss). This year, DMB earned more than a million votes and Benatar close to 900,000.

In addition to the artists being inducted, the Ahmet Ertegun Award will be presented to industry titans Jon Landau and Irving Azoff. 

The 35th annual induction ceremony will take place May 2 at Public Auditorium in Cleveland. For the first time, the ceremony will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. on HBO. The SiriusXM Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Radio channel will also air the ceremony on May 2 with exclusive interviews. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 27 via

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About the Author

Melissa Ruggieri
Melissa Ruggieri
Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for the AJC. She remembers when MTV was awesome.