×

Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, Notorious B.I.G. Among 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Inductees

Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T.Rex are the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 2020 inductees, the organization announced this morning. Receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which is essentially for non-performing professionals, are longtime Bruce Springsteen manager and former music critic Jon Landau and veteran Eagles manager and multifaceted executive Irving Azoff.

The 35th annual ceremony will be broadcast live for the first time this year — May 2, on HBO, from the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio. Tickets are on sale Feb. 27; performances and special guests will be announced later.

This year’s performance lineup will inevitably be filled with tribute performances, as half of the inductees — Houston, Notorious B.I.G. (real name: Christopher Wallace) and Marc Bolan of T. Rex — are deceased.

Voters seem to have had diversity at least partially in mind: two of the six nominees are black — the Hall’s past inductees are overwhelmingly white — although just one (Houston) is female. The noms also reach across several time periods, with the Doobie Brothers and T. Rex dating primarily from the 1970s, new wave icons Depeche Mode and pop superstar Houston from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and alternative-rock titans Nine Inch Nails and Notorious B.I.G. dating from the ‘90s and, in the former case, into the ‘00s. Notorious B.I.G. is indisputably one of the greatest rappers of all time and his career would likely have extended far beyond 1997, the year he was murdered.

Artists who were nominated but not inducted this year are Pat Benatar, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, Dave Matthews Band, MC5, Motorhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy.

Four of the inductees — the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.I.G. and T. Rex — and nine of the 16 total nominees were on the ballot for the first time, with nominees Dave Matthews Band, Motorhead, Pat Benatar, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy filling out that list. Chaka Khan, with and without the group Rufus, and Kraftwerk have both been up six times. To be eligible this year, each nominee’s first single or album had to be released in 1994 or earlier.

Last year’s inductees were the Cure, Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Roxy Music and the Zombies, making for an exceptionally strong show.

Accordng to the announcement, ballots were sent to an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, including current living Inductees, historians and members of the music industry. Factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique are taken into consideration. The original 16 nominees that were considered for induction were selected by a nominating committee in September of 2019.

Klipsch Audio, a  global speaker and headphone manufacturer, is a strategic partner and presenting sponsor of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, its Induction Ceremony events and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Main Stage.

More Biz

  • Peter Chernin'Spies in Disguise' film premiere,

    Disney and Chernin Entertainment Parting Ways (EXCLUSIVE)

    Disney and Peter Chernin are ending Chernin Entertainment’s long-standing film production deal with 20th Century Fox (recently rebranded to 20th Century Studios), Variety has learned. The split was a mutual and amicable one, driven by the simple fact that Disney rarely brings on third-party partners to finance its feature films. “I have nothing but praise for [...]

  • NAB Show Partners With Variety for

    NAB Show Partners With Variety for Executive Leadership Summit

    The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show has announced that it will be partnering with Variety to produce the third annual Executive Leadership Summit, taking place Sunday, April 19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. NAB Show is the world’s largest convention encompassing media, entertainment and technology, where global visionaries convene to bring content to [...]

  • peacock-ads-NBCU

    NBCU's Peacock Marks Media's Latest Try to Connect Consumers, Commercials

    In an era when consumers feel more empowered to avoid TV commercials, NBCUniversal is the latest media company to try to get them to bring ads back into their TV lives. One of the key selling points of big streaming-video services like Netflix and Disney Plus is that subscribers don’t have to endure the commercial [...]

  • Our Planet BTS BBC

    U.K. Entertainment Industry Moves Beyond London

    When Channel 4 launches its daytime current-affairs program “The Steph Show” this spring, it will mark a milestone in the U.K. broadcaster’s output.  Like most of the British film and TV industries, Channel 4 has been heavily London-centric. By contrast, “The Steph Show,” starring journalist and presenter Steph McGovern, was commissioned by the network’s new [...]

  • Lucian Grainge

    Universal Music Chief Lucian Grainge to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Lucian Grainge — chairman/CEO of Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company — will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next Thursday (Jan. 23). Fittingly, the ceremony will take place in front of the historic Capitol Records building; Capitol is one of the several Universal-owned labels under Grainge’s domain. Universal, recently [...]

  • John Ross Promoted to Vice President,

    John Ross Promoted to Vice President, Features and Events, at Variety

    Variety’s three-time Emmy Award-winning producer and managing director of features and events John Ross has been upped to VP, features and events. Ross, who exec produces Variety’s Actors on Actors series, has been instrumental to the development of Variety’s features business, including the Young Hollywood issue, the Pride issue, Showman of the Year, the Billion [...]

  • Deborah Dugan Recording Academy Head

    Deborah Dugan’s Attorney Slams Grammys With Fiery Statement After Ouster

    Less than 12 hours after news broke that Deborah Dugan had been placed on administrative leave from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy, her attorney fired back with a statement. “What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told. When our ability to speak is not restrained by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content