On October 15, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame released the 16 finalists for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.
For 2020 the gala event stays at home in Cleveland when the new inductees are officially enshrined on May 2.
This year’s nominees range from experimental music to hard core rock with two women, two men, and 12 groups from both sides of the Atlantic.
Nine of this year’s nominees are eligible for the first time – the Dave Matthews Band, The Doobie Brothers, Motörhead, The Notorious B.I.G., Pat Benatar, Soundgarden, T.Rex, Thin Lizzy, and Whitney Houston.
The remaining acts – Depeche Mode, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Nine Inch Nails Rufus and Chaka Khan, and Todd Rundgren have all been nominated before.
An artist or band is eligible for nomination into the Hall of Fame 25 years after their first commercial record release.
The new class of inductees will be revealed in January of 2020.
Rock fans may cast their votes for artists they want inducted into the Hall but the total will count toward only one overall vote. The winners are selected by a panel of over 1,000 artists, historians, and music industry professionals. Nominees are selected by a number of factors including their musical influence on music, their contributions to music and culture, and the longevity of their career.
ABOUT THE NOMINEES:
Eligible since 2004, Pat Benatar gets her first nod as a Hall of Fame nominee. Classically trained, Benatar has turned her mezzo-soprano voice into a powerhouse rock sound that has earned her four Grammy Awards. Along with husband Neil Giraldo, the duo have two multi platinum, five platinum, and three gold albums.
The Dave Matthews Band became eligible only last year and is being nominated for the first time. The band features Carter Beauford, Jeff Coffin, Stefan Lessard, Leroi Moore, Tim Reynolds, Rashawn Ross, Boyd Tinsley, and band leader Dave Matthews.
Calling Charlottesville, Virginia home, the band began in 1991 and carved their niche in rock and roll making use of non traditional rock instruments. The Grammy Award winning band has earned seven multi platinum albums including the seven time platinum “Crash”, three multi platinum videos, seven platinum albums, and three gold albums.
This is the third nomination for the British band Depeche Mode who first became eligible for induction in 2006. The experimental pop band features Vince Clarke, Andy Fletcher, Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Alan Wilder.
Hailing from Basildon, England; Depeche Mode formed in 1981 and continues to push the envelope of the pop music format. They have earned one multi platinum album, five platinum albums, and five gold albums.
The Doobie Brothers became eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame in 1996 but are just now earning their first nomination. Band members have included Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, John Hartman, Michael Hossack, Tom Johnston, Keith Knudsen, Michael McDonald, John McFee, Tiran Porter, and Patrick Simmons.
The veteran rockers have been entertaining audiences for over 50 years. The Grammy Award winning northern California rockers have earned four multi platinum albums including a Diamond Award for selling 10 million copies of their “Greatest Hits” album, three platinum albums, and six gold albums. Their world wide album sales have reached nearly 50 million albums.
Award winning singer Whitney Houston was eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2009 but has earned her first nomination for 2020 induction.
Growing up in a musical family, Houston signed with Arista Records when she was just 19. She became the first artist to have seven number one hits in a row, has the longest running number one single – “I Will Always Love You”, and is the first female artist to have an album debut in the number one position on the Billboard 200 Album chart.
The award winning artist has earned seven multi platinum albums including two Diamond Awards for selling at least 10 million copies in the United States. The soundtrack for “The Bodyguard” has sold 18 million copies. She also has numerous gold and platinum singles.
Eligible in 1999, the hard rocking band Judas Priest have earned their second nomination to the Hall of Fame after rocking the world for over 50 years.
Band members have included Les Binks, K. K. Downing, Bob Halford, Ian Hill, Dave Holland, Glenn Tipton, and Scott Travis.
The metal rockers have earned a multi platinum album, three platinum albums, and seven gold albums. They have also earned a number of gold and platinum awards for their music videos.
German rockers Kraftwerk were first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1995; this is their sixth Hall of Fame nomination.
Band members include Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür, Ralf Hütter, and Florian Schneider.
Since their formation in Düsseldorf in 1970, Kraftwerk have been the blueprint for synth pop music. The band has earned a Grammy Award for their influential music.
The garage rock band Motor City 5 – MC5 – were first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1991; since then they have earned five nominations.
Members of MC5 include Michael Davis, Wayne Kramer, Fred “Sonic” Smith, Dennis Thompson, and Rob Tyner.
Donned in red, white, and blue; the rockers mixed R&B, psychedelic music, and garage rock with political messages they became the voice of counter culture.
The band has been the voice of the anti-establishment for over 50 years.
Hard rockers Motorhead were first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2002; this year marks their first nomination for induction.
The Grammy Award winning rockers features members ‘Fast’ Eddie Carke, Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, and Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor. The band lost their lead singer Lemmy Kilmister in 2015.
Motorhead created loud, fast, and vicious rock music and has been featured on video games, films, and television shows.
The hard rocking band Nine Inch Nails were first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2014 and have just earned their third nomination for induction into the Hall of Fame.
Trent Rezner formed the band in Cleveland in the 1980’s. While he originally planned for the band to be just a studio project, it didn’t take long for them to become a full fledged live band.
The Grammy Award winning rockers have earned three multi platinum albums and two gold albums.
Rapper The Notorious B.I.G. Became eligible for the Hall of Fame last year and has earned his first nomination for 2020. Murdered in 1997 at the age of 24, The Notorious B.I.G. – born Christopher Wallace – has racked up quite a list of gold and platinum awards including two multi platinum albums with his album “Life After Death” earning a Diamond Award for selling over 10 million copies after a posthumous release.
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan first became eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame in 1999; this marks their fourth nomination for induction.
Members include Chaka Khan, Dennis Belfield, Al Ciner, Andre Fischer, Tony Maiden, Nate Morgan, Kevin Murphy, Ron Stockert, and Bobby Watson.
Gold album artists Rufus and Chaka Khan became one of the most influential funk bands and went on to earn four number one albums in a row.
Todd Rundgren was first eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame in 1995 and has just earned his second nomination for The Hall.
A true multi talented individual, Todd Rundgren is singer, a songwriter, a multi-instrumentalist, an in-demand producer, engineer, audiophile, and technophile. The Philadelphia native has been making music since the mid sixties.
Rockers Soundgarden first became eligible for induction in 2011; this marks their first nomination for the Hall of Fame.
Members of Soundgarden include Matt Cameron, Ben Shepherd, Kim Thayil, Hiro Yamamoto, and Chris Cornell who died last year.
Soundgarden became the first grunge band to release an album via a major record label. They helped to ring in the most recent alternative movement into the mainstream.
Formed in 1984, the Grammy Award winning Soundgarden has two platinum albums and to multi platinum selling albums.
Modern psychedelic rockers T. Rex was first eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame in 1993;this marks their first nomination for The Hall.
Members of T. Rex include Marc Bolan, Steve Currie, Mickey Finn, and Bill Legend.
The band formed in 1970 but like so many bands broke up after the death of a member when Marc Bolan died in 1977. While the band never earned a Grammy Award for their work, they have gone on to be a major influence to generations of musicians.
Irish rockers Thin Lizzy were first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1996, but it has taken until now for them to earn their first nomination for induction.
Members of Thin Lizzy include Eric Bell, Brian Downey, Scott Gorham, Phil Lynott, and Brian Robertson.
Like so many bands, Thin Lizzy began with the meeting of school mates when Phil Lynott and Brian Downey created the band in 1969.
While their music influenced many artists, Thin Lizzy’s biggest notoriety is their makeup that crossed geographic – Northern Ireland and Ireland, racial – black and white, and religious lines – Catholic and Protestant..