The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees for the 2020 class are in, and unlike previous nomination classes, a majority of this year’s nominees are on the ballot for the first time ever. In order to be eligible, each nominee’s first single or album had to be released in 1994 or earlier. Highlights of the nominees include Soundgarden, The Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, and Dave Matthews Band, among others. First-time nominees include Dave Matthews Band, the Doobie Brothers, Motörhead, The Notorious B.I.G., Pat Benatar, Soundgarden, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy, and Whitney Houston. A full nominee list can be found here.
Some may be surprised by this year’s nominees, who are overwhelmingly not classical rock acts. Incoming Rock Hall chairman John Sykes spoke to Rolling Stone about the evolution of the Hall of Fame, stating, “Nothing stays the same in music…Therefore, really, the institution that honors it has to evolve with all the music. Just like hip-hop is very much a part of the Hall of Fame now, everything we do — the board members we have, the events we build on — has to reflect a changing culture without ever disregarding or turning our backs on the ideals and fundamentals of the Rock Hall.”
Iconic English band Radiohead were inducted during the 2019 ceremony, where The Talking Heads’ David Byrne gave the induction speech with Ed O’Brien and Philip Selway of Radiohead in attendance.
Voting will be done by a pool of more than 1,000 artists, journalists, and music historians among others, who cast their votes to decide on the new class. Fans will be able to influence the vote by voting at rockhall.com or at the museum in Cleveland. The top-scoring acts will be announced in January and inducted May 2, 2020 at a ceremony at Cleveland’s Public Hall.
H/T: Rolling Stone