Nominees for the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductions Announced

October 15, 2019
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The nominees for the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions have just been announced and you can help pick who gets in! This year’s nominees are Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motorhead, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy. Let your voice be heard and vote for your favorites at rockhall.com.  You can vote for up to five artists each day through 11:59 p.m. on January 10, 2020. The top five artists picked by fans will make up a “fan ballot” that will be factored into the final nomination decision. The final 2020 inductees will be announced shortly after fan voting ends and the induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2020 in Cleveland.

So how does the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nomination and induction process actually work? The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, headed by John Sykes, the co-founder of MTV and VH-1, assembles a Nomination Committee each year made up of roughly 25 record industry executives, music critics and artists. The Committee members are supposed to remain a secret but the 2019 Nomination Committee reportedly included Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, Robbie Robertson of The Band and Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band among others. Each Committee member is allowed to nominate two artists. The Committee then meets behind closed doors to discuss the 50 or so suggested artists and narrows down the list to 15 or 16 nominees.

The Committee sends out ballots featuring the 15 or 16 nominees to 1000 other artists, critics, members of the record industry and every living Rock Hall inductee for a final vote. The 1000 ballots and the top five fan voted artists are all tallied to determine the final five inductees.

The only criteria for a nomination is that the artist’s first commercial recording must have been released at least 25 years prior to the nomination. Nomination Committee members are actually encouraged to ignore album sales, chart positions and tour profits when selecting nominees and, instead, focus on the overall influence an artist has had on Rock & Roll. This is one of the main reasons so many seemingly worthy bands are left off the list of nominees year after year while so many other artists who don’t seem to typically “define” Rock & Roll do get nominated.

Here’s my short list of bands I can’t believe are not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yet – Bad Company, Boston, Jethro Tull, Foreigner, Styx, Supertramp, Peter Frampton, REO Speedwagon, Kansas, Warren Zevon, Little Feat, Ozzy Osborne (as a solo artist), Joe Cocker, Blue Oyster Cult, Steppenwolf and The Guess Who.

Maybe next year!