Legendary singer and LGBTQ favorite Whitney Houston and rapper The Notorious B.I.G. were announced this morning as posthumous inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
This was the first time the two artists, who died in 2012 and 1997 respectively, had been on the nominating ballot.
Also part of the Rock Hall’s class of 2020 are: experimental/alternative rockers Nine Inch Nails, 1970’s soft rock artists the Doobie Brothers, synth-pop group Depeche Mode and English glam/rock band T. Rex.
The six inductees were chosen by an international group of over 1,000 recording artists, industry professionals, and historians.
An artist doesn’t become eligible for induction until 25 years after the release of their first single, album or EP, which means that this year’s class had to have released their first eligible music in 1994 or earlier.
Diversity has been a consistent criticism for the hall over the years. In her acceptance speech last year, Janet Jackson underscored the dearth of female inductees saying, “2020 – please induct more women.”
This year’s list of 16 artists under consideration included only 3 women. In addition to Houston, Pat Benatar made the shortlist for the first time but failed to get the nod, and Rufus featuring Chaka Khan was left out for the fourth time.
This is the first year that the winner of the Fan Vote, introduced in 2013, did not get chosen for induction.
The Dave Matthews Band led the Fan Vote with over a million votes cast online since October. Pat Benatar came in second with almost 900,000 votes.
But neither scored induction honors this year.
USA Today reports that music journalist-turned-producer Jon Landau, who worked with Bruce Springsteen, will be honored with the Ahmet Ertegun Award given to influential producers, songwriters and music executives.
Music manager Irving Azoff will also receive the same honor.
For the first time, the induction ceremony will be televised live on HBO. Tickets to the May 2 event in Cleveland go on sale February 27 at ticketmaster.com.