Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominee Short List Is Out, and Music Fans Have Some Complaints

The nominees for the 2020 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have been announced, and the ballot features Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy. Those who receive enough votes to be inducted will be announced in January. The induction ceremony will be held on May 2, 2020 at Cleveland’s Public Hall.

The new chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, John Sykes, talked to Rolling Stone last month about the evolution of the institution. “Nothing stays the same in music,” he said. “Therefore, really, the institution that honors it has to evolve with all the music. Just like hip-hop is very much a part of the Hall of Fame now, everything we do — the board members we have, the events we build on — has to reflect a changing culture without ever disregarding or turning our backs on the ideals and fundamentals of the Rock Hall.”

Some music fans take issue with the inclusion of non-traditional rock acts, of which there are several candidates this year.

“Why do they keep nominating performers who are not rock and roll?,” one person asked on Twitter.

“I ask the same thing all the time,” someone responded. “Just re-name it the Modern Music Hall Of Fame and be done with it.”

Other people had complaints about snubs, such as Iron Maiden.

“No Iron Maiden again despite being in the top 3 most requested by the fans yet again,” one person wrote.

Another person echoed that criticism, writing, “And still @IronMaiden nowhere near being on the ballot, let alone inducted. What a travesty. They are still active, and filling arenas around the world.”

A collection of over 1,000 musicians, journalists, historians and other music community members will vote on which acts get in. Additionally, fans will have a say as they’re able to vote on


To be nominated, a nominee’s first single or album had to have been released in 1994 or earlier. This year’s ballot has nine first-time nominees -- Dave Matthews Band, the Doobie Brothers, Motörhead, the Notorious B.I.G., Benatar, Soundgarden, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy and Houston.

The 2019 Hall of Fame class included Radiohead, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Def Leppard, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies.