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.

Related: Whitney Houston through the years

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Whitney Houston through the years
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Whitney Houston through the years
Singer Whitney Houston photographed in February 1982 when she was a senior in high school (her first session with a professional photographer). (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, Whitney Houston, and Cissy Houston posing for a group photo, San Francisco, California, 1980. (Photo by Clarence Gatson/Gado/Getty Images)
Singer Whitney Houston photographed in February 1982 when she was a senior in high school (her first session with a professional photographer). (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - 1984: Pop singer Whitney Houston performing in 1984 in New York, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - 1985: (L-R) American singer Whitney Houston with President of Arista Records Clive Davis at an event to celebrate Whitney's debut album 'Whitney Houston' receiving a multi-platinum sales award in 1985 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)
American singer Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012) in concert, circa 1986. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 1986: Singer Whitney Houston at Grammy Awards in February 1986 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
BOSTON - JULY 29: Whitney Houston in concert on July 29, 1986, on Boston Common. (Photo by Keith Jenkins/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Whitney Houston and Cissy Houston (Photo by Larry Busacca/WireImage)
American singer Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012), circa 1987. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 1987: Singer Whitney Houston performs at the Assembly Hall at the University Of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois in NOVEMBER 1987. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 25: Singer Whitney Houston, mother Cissy Houston and half-brother Gary Garland attend the 15th annual American Music Awards on January 25, 1988 at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
FRANCE - MAY 18: Whitney Houston Performs In Paris Bercy On May 18th, 1988 In Paris,France (Photo by Frederic REGLAIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 25: Singer Whitney Houston and mother Cissy Houston attend the Frank Bruno vs. Mike Tyson Heavyweight Boxing Match on February 25, 1989 at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Singer Whitney Houston and comedian/actor Eddie Murphy attend the United Negro College Fund's 10th Annual 'Lou Rawls Parade of Stars' Telethon Kick-Off Party on November 15, 1989 at L'Ermitage in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - MAY 30: Singer Whitney Houston attends the 21st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Awards Dinner on May 30, 1990 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Whitney Houston (Photo by Larry Busacca/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Pictured: (l-r) Singer Whitney Houston, guest host Jay Leno on December 11, 1990 (Photo by Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - 1991: Singer and actress Whitney Houston sings the National Anthem at the 1991 Tampa, Florida, Superbowl XXV. Houston's rendition of the National Anthem was particularly inspiring due to the fact that Superbowl XXV (25) was held as the first Gulf War began.(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
TINLEY PARK, IL - JUNE 1991: Singer Whitney Houston performs at the World Music Theater in Tinley Park, Illinois in JUNE 1991. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
PROVIDENCE - JULY 17: Whitney Houston in concert on July 17, 1991. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
American singer Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012) watches a World Cup soccer match, 1994. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Whitney Houston (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
American singer and actress Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012) stars with Denzel Washington in the film 'The Preacher's Wife', 1996. (Photo by Fotos International/Getty Images)
Whitney Houston performs on stage in 1996. (Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns)
Whitney Houston, Sängerin, Auftritt, Mikrophon, Promis, Prominente, Prominenter, (Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 12: Whitney Houston is joined by her husband, singer Bobby Brown, at ceremonies in East Orange, N.J., where the Franklin School was renamed the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE -JULY 6: Whitney Houston performing at Paris Bercy concert hall on June 6, 1998 in Paris, France. (Photo by Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 30: Arista Records president Clive Davis and singer Whitney Houston attend amfAR's First Annual Season of Hope Awards to Honor Clive Davis, Tom Hanks and Barbara Walters on November 30, 1998 at the World Financial Center in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 16: BRIT AWARDS, LONDON ARENA Photo of Whitney HOUSTON, Whitney Houston performing on stage (Photo by JMEnternational/Redferns)
Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige perform at VH1 Divas Conert at Beacon Theater. (Photo By: Richard Corkery/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
Bobby Brown & Whitney Houston (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Whitney Houston (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Whitney Houston (Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage)
Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige perform on the 'VH1 Divas Las Vegas', a concert to benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, 5/23/02. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 8: Musician Whitney Houston performs live for an NBC show December 8, 2002 at Lincoln Center in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 22: Singers Whitney Houston and husband Bobby Brown attend the VH1 Divas Duets post concert party to benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 22, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM - MAY 27: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (R) welcomes singer Whitney Houston (L) and her husband/singer, Bobby Brown (C), at the prime minister's residence May 27, 2003 in Jerusalem, Israel. Houston is on a private tour of Israel. (Photo by Quique Kierszenbaum/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV ? SEPTEMBER 15: Singer Whitney Houston is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 26: Singer-actress Whitney Houston onstage during the taping of '25 Strong: The BET Silver Anniversary Celebration' at The Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles, California. The event highlighted 25 years of programming on Black Entertainment Television. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Usher, Clive Davis and Whitney Houston (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
US singer Whitney Houston performs on May 24 , 2008 in Rabat during the closing concert in the Mawazine 7th festival held in Rabat. AFP PHOTO/ABDELHAK SENNA (Photo credit should read ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Whitney Houston performs at the 2009 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons honoring Clive Davis at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 7, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Singer Whitney Houston onstage at the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 01: Diane Sawyer, Whitney Houston and Robin Roberts perform on ABC's 'Good Morning America' on September 1, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singer Whitney Houston accepts the Winner of International - Favorite Artist Award onstage at the 2009 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
MOSCOW - DECEMBER 9: Singer Whitney Houston performs on stage at Olympisky Sports Complex on December 9, 2009 in Moscow, Russia. Moscow is the first city in her world-wide 2009-2010 tour. (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24: Whitney Houston performs on stage at Acer Arena on February 24, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Whitney Houston and daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown arrive at the Clive Davis and The Recording Acedemy's Annual Pre-Grammy Gala held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
Singer Whitney Houston performs at the 2011 Clive Davis Pre–Grammy Gala and Salute to Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen at the Beverly Hilton. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Whitney Houston and Kelly Price share the stage at the Kelly Price & Friends Unplugged: For The Love Of R&B GRAMMY Party at Tru Hollywood on February 9, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
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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.

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