Who Is Being Inducted Into the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?

The 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees have officially been announced! The journey to making it on the list is a combination of career accomplishments and a voting protocol. Inductees are selected by an international voting body of over 1,000 peers that include artists, historians and members of the music industry. Artists voted on are only eligible to be considered for the Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first single, album or first body of work. All artists who made the cut this year first released music in 1994 or earlier. 

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston 1991 | Rob Verhorst/Redferns

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston 1988  | Rob Verhorst/Redferns

Houston made a splash onto the music world in 1985 with her debut album, Whitney Houston, which sold over 25 million copies worldwide. Her career would continue on a history-making path. Houston’s first seven singles all reached the number one spot on the Billboard charts. Throughout her 25+ long career, she released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Houston has been cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records, with over 400 awards. She also remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 200 million records sold worldwide. Her crossover appeal, though controversial at the beginning of her career, was unprecedented. Houston died in 2012 but her legacy continues.

The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G. 1995  | Chris Walter/WireImage

Also known as “Biggie,” B.I.G.’s career was brief yet legendary. The Brooklyn-born rapper was discovered by music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs in 1993. His critically acclaimed debut album Ready to Die was released in 1994 and catapulted him into instant success. Biggie was also the founder and leader of Junior M.A.F.I.A.—a protégé group of young rappers composed of his childhood friends. Shortly after the release of his first album, his feud with Tupac Shakur ignited into what would become known as the East Coast vs. West Coast beef. Battle raps and bloodshed ensued, ending in Shakur’s death in 1996. Just six months after Shakur’s death, Biggie was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. His second album, Life After Death was released two weeks later and reached number one. The album was certified Diamond by the RIAA, an accomplishment only a few hip hop artists have made. He is widely lauded as one of the greatest rappers of all time.

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails 1991  | Ebet Roberts/Redferns

Nine Inch Nines, also abbreviated as NIИ, embodies everything it means to be a Rock & Roll band. After three years on the voting ballot, the group finally made the cut in this year’s Hall of Fame. Formed in Cleaveland in 1988 and led by Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails have sold over 20 million records. They’ve also been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning for the songs “Wish” and “Happiness in Slavery.” NIИ were listed as number 94 on the 100 Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone in 2004. Following the announcement, Reznor told Rolling Stone Magazine that he was “freaking” out over the honor. After waiting for three years, he’s excited. “When I look back at how Nine Inch Nails are received, it always seems like we fall between the cracks or we’re not in this category or “that thing,” he said. “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.”

Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode 2018  | Stefan Hoederath/Redferns

Depeche Mode released their first album, Speak & Spell, in 1981. They brought a new sound to what the British were used to hearing and had crossover success. The group has had 54 songs in the UK Singles Chart and 17 top 10 albums in the UK chart. They’ve sold more than 100 million records worldwide and have been included on the list of the 50 Bands That Changed the World by Q Magazine. Depeche Mode also rank number 98 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

The Doobie Brothers

Doobie Brothers
Doobie Brothers  | RB/Redferns

The Doobie Brothers were formed in San Jose, California and achieved their first bout of success in the 1970s. The band’s history is divided into three eras due to their ever-changing sound and lineup changes. From 1970 to 1975, it featured a mainstream rock and roll sound with elements of folk, country, and R&B. Michael McDonald replaced the lead singer, Tom Johnston, in 1975. McDonald’s musical interest was soul music and changed the band’s sound to fit such until the band separated in 1982. The Doobie Brothers resurfaced five years later with Johnston back as a member. Prior to this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. They’ve sold more than 40 million records worldwide. 

T-Rex

T-Rex
T-Rex  | Gems/Redferns

Formed in 1967, the band was initially called Tyrannosaurus Rex, and released four folk albums under this name. In 1969, their name was shortened to T-Rex. Their peak came in 1970 when they began their top 10 singles streak. The band released 11 singles that charted over a three year period. The band 

For the first time, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will be broadcast live on HBO. The special will air at 8 p.m. EST on May 2. A list of performers and special guests for the ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks.