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Whitney Houston, Notorious B.I.G., Soundgarden headline Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 nominees

Pat Benatar, Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Judas Priest, Dave Matthews Ban and Nine Inch Nails also made the list.
Image: Notorious B.I.G rolls a cigar in Brooklyn in 1995.
Notorious B.I.G rolls a cigar in Brooklyn in 1995.Clarence Davis / NY Daily News via Getty Images file

LOS ANGELES - Nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2020 were announced Tuesday morning: the lineup includes Pat Benatar, Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, Dave Matthews Band, MC5, Motorhead, Nine Inch Nails, the Notorious B.I.G., Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy.

The top vote-getters will be announced in January and inducted on May 20 at the 35th annual Rock Hall of Fame ceremony at the Public Auditorium in the Hall's home base of Cleveland. The ceremony is presented by Kilpsch Audio.

In a switch, the ceremony will be broadcast live on HBO, according to the Hall's incoming new president, John Sykes of iHeartMedia. (Jann Wenner, Rock Hall cofounder and founder of Rolling Stone magazine, announced earlier this month that he is stepping down as president at the top of the year.)

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.

Nine out of 16 of the 2020 nominees are on the ballot for the first time, including Dave Matthews Band, The Doobie Brothers, Motorhead, The Notorious B.I.G., Pat Benatar, Soundgarden, T.Rex, Thin Lizzy, and Whitney Houston. 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.

Nominee ballots are sent to an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, historians and members of the music industry, according to the announcement. 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.

To vote, beginning October 15 and continuing through 11:59 p.m. ET on January 10, 2020, fans can go to Google and search "Rock Hall Fan Vote" or any nominee name plus "vote" to cast a ballot with Google, vote at, or at the Museum in Cleveland. The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a "fans' ballot" that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2020 inductees.