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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame cancels live ceremony; HBO special will honor inductees

This combination photo shows Notorious B.I.G., who won rap artist and rap single of the year, during the annual Billboard Music Awards in New York on Dec. 6, 1995, left, and singer Whitney Houston at the BET Honors in Washington on Jan. 17, 2009. The pair will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2020 class. (AP Photo)
This combination photo shows Notorious B.I.G., who won rap artist and rap single of the year, during the annual Billboard Music Awards in New York on Dec. 6, 1995, left, and singer Whitney Houston at the BET Honors in Washington on Jan. 17, 2009. The pair will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2020 class. (AP Photo)

This year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class will be forced to celebrate virtually.

The annual live induction ceremony, which had been moved from May to November in Cleveland, has now been canceled and will be replaced by an HBO special honoring the 2020 inductees: Depeche ModeThe Doobie BrothersWhitney HoustonNine Inch NailsThe Notorious B.I.G.T-Rex, and Ahmet Ertegun Award honorees Jon Landau and Irving Azoff.

The program will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max at 8 p.m. Nov. 7.

“To protect the health and safety of our Inductees, their families, crews and our attendees, we’ve made the decision that the scheduled live event is not possible,” said John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “Together with HBO and executive producer Joel Gallen, we will still create an exciting program honoring our 2020 inductees, by telling the stories of their incredible contributions to music and impact on a generation of artists that followed them.”

The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is slated to take place next fall in Cleveland, home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The museum has reopened and will debut its exhibit about the 2020 inductees on Aug. 14.

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