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Notorious B.I.G, Whitney Houston and Pat Benatar Among Rock Hall Nominees

First-time nominee Pat Benatar is one of only three women on the 2020 list of Rock Hall hopefuls. [Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]

A martyred hip-hop legend from the 1990s, a pioneering glam band from the '70s and an '80s arena rocker are among 16 performers hoping to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The 2020 nominees represent a wide range of musical styles.

  • Pat Benatar
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Depeche Mode
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Whitney Houston
  • Judas Priest
  • Kraftwerk
  • MC5
  • Motörhead
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Soundgarden
  • T.Rex
  • Thin Lizzy

The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered in 1997, a case that remains unsolved. The rapper made the Rock Hall’s ballot in his first year of eligibility.

The Notorious B.I.G. is the only 2020 performer to be nominated in his first year of eligibility [Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]

British performers T. Rex led the glam rock movement of the 1970s [Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]

Nine nominees debuted on the ballot this year, including soulful diva Whitney Houston, glam band T. Rex and arena rocker Pat Benatar. Other first-timers include Motorhead, Soundgarden, the Doobie Brothers, Thin Lizzy and the Dave Matthews Band.

Todd Rundgren didn't make the cut last year.  Will 2020 bring better news? [Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]

Back for another shot at the Hall of Fame are Todd Rundgren, Depeche Mode, Judas Priest, Nine Inch Nails, MC5 and Kraftwerk.

This year’s collection of nominees is guy-heavy. Houston, Benatar and Chaka Kahn (as part of the band Rufus) are the only women.

Whitney Houston [Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]

Now, a voting committee will trim the roster to a half dozen Hall of Fame inductees who will be announced in January. The induction ceremony will take place in Cleveland’s Public Auditorium on May 2, 2020.

David C. Barnett was a senior arts & culture reporter for Ideastream Public Media. He retired in October 2022.