The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has revealed its class of 2020. Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.I.G., T. Rex, and The Doobie Brothers are all to be inducted during a ceremony held in May.
Dave Matthews Band, who won the fan vote, will have to wait another year before their possible inclusion into the Rock Hall, as will fellow finalists Soundgarden, Judas Priest, Motörhead, Kraftwerk, Thin Lizzy, and Todd Rundgren.
A committee of 1,000 artists, historians, and music industry members, as well as a fan vote, determined next year’s Rock Hall class. In order to be eligible, a nominee’s first recording must have been released at least 25 years ago.
The induction ceremony will take on May 2nd at the Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio and air live on HBO.
Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor had long expressed ambilvance towards the Rock Hall of Fame. “The worst would be if we did [get inducted],” he said back in 2017, “and then what? We’d have to fuckin’ show up and jam? I can’t even imagine what that would be.”
However, after taking part in The Cure’s induction last year, Reznor changed his tune. “It ended up being a pretty cool experience and I thought, ‘Alright, it doesn’t feel as bulls**t as I kind of snarkily dismissed it as.’ I don’t have any problem admitting I’ve changed my opinion about something.”
In a statement reacting to news of NIN’s own induction, Reznor told Rolling Stone, “I’m pretty freaked out. I’m quite in shock. When I look back at how Nine Inch Nails are received, it always seems like we fall between the cracks. I don’t know if it’s a defense mechanism, but I just assumed we’d stay in that category, so I’m pleasantly surprised to see us acknowledged. It feels pretty good … I’m allowing myself, for a limited period of time, to feel good about this.”
Depeche Mode’s inducted lineup includes Andy Fletcher, Dave Gahan, and Martin Gore, along with original keyboardist Vince Clarke and his replacement, Alan Wilder, who left the group in 1995. Wilder reunited with Depeche Mode for a guest appearance in 2010, but Clarke hasn’t played with the band since 1981. Their impending induction certainly sets the stage for what will be one of the more anticipated reunions of the night.
For over a decade, Houston proved to be one of the Hall of Fame’s most egregious snubs, as she’d been eligible for induction since 2010. She’s certainly a deserving candidate, given that she is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including the best-selling by a female artist in history (“I Will Always Love You”). Fortunately, Houston will finally get her due.
The Doobie Brothers’ induction comes as the band celebrates its 50th anniversary with a reunion tour alongside former singer Michael McDonald. (Get tickets to their upcoming dates here.) In a statement, Tom Johnston said, “I can’t imagine a better start to our 50th year than by being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We’ll be celebrating with an amazing tour, all while realizing our dream of becoming Rock & Roll Hall of Famers. Earning the recognition of our peers is a great honor that I don’t take lightly, but it’s our fans who kept us believing that we could get in. This is a stellar moment for The Doobie Brothers.”
This year’s Rock Hall honorees also include Bruce Springsteen’s longtime manager Jon Landau and music mogul Irving Azoff, both of whom will be presented with the Ahmet Ertegun Award.