by Daniel O’Neill ’21 A&E Staff
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recently announced the nominees for its 2020 class. The nominees span many different genres of music. Eligibility requires that nominees have released their first recordings at least 25 years earlier. Similar to years past, music fans in the general public can vote for their own picks in the Hall of Fame by casting ballots online or at the Hall itself, located in Cleveland, Ohio.
This year’s list is extremely diverse, with individuals like Pat Benatar and Whitney Houston leading the way. Others on the nomination list include Dave Matthews Band, The Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Thin Lizzy, and T.Rex. All of these nominations seem typical when it comes to genre diversity, however there is one individual who is set apart from the rest of the nominations.
The Notorious B.I.G. is on the list of nominations, putting rap at the forefront. This is his first year of eligibility, and if he is inducted he will become the second rapper to be inducted. Tupac Shakur was inducted in 2017 as the first rapper to make the Hall of Fame. The Notorious B.I.G. is frequently cited as the greatest rapper of all time, typically in contention with Shakur.
According to Billboard, many of the nominees this year have never won a Grammy award. The list includes Depeche Mode, MC5, The Notorious B.I.G., Todd Rundgren, T. Rex, and Thin Lizzy. Only three of the nominations have ever topped the Billboard Hot 100: Whitney Houston, Notorious B.I.G., and the Doobie Brothers. The U.K. metal band Motörhead, who is also nominated, has never cracked the Hot 100.
The diversity of the nominees this year is unprecedented. The power ballads of Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails’ dark and creepy style, Kraftwerk’s innovation, The Notorious B.I.G.’s rap royalty, and Soundgarden’s grunge vibe come together to create a nomination class that is unlike any other.
So far, Pat Benatar has taken the lead as of Friday, Oct. 18 on the fan voting ballot, but anything can change in the coming months. The battle for second place as of Friday was between the Doobie Brothers and Soundgarden. The top five artists that are selected by the public will make up what is called a fan ballot and will be factored into the final decision making process by the Hall of Fame. Fans can only vote once per day and voting ends on Jan. 10 at 11:59 p.m.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 2 in Cleveland, Ohio. The ceremony will take place in Cleveland’s Public Hall.
Anyone can vote online for the nominations. To successfully complete your vote, select the top 5 nominations and select “ROCK MY VOTE” to participate in the induction process. You can also go to www.rockhall.com/vote and create an account to vote directly into the Hall.