While in the midst of a change of leadership, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has nominated 20 new possible inductees for 2020. These latest nominees—which include posthumous nominations for legendary rapper, The Notorious B.I.G, as well as R&B and soul songstress Whitney Houston—are bridging a gap between genres, genders and race. Something departing Rock Hall chairman Jann Wenner has been criticized for in the past. A claim which he has refuted. “Musical achievements have got to be race-neutral and gender-neutral,” said Wenner, according to the New York Times.
Nonetheless, incoming chairman John Sykes—the president of Entertainment Enterprises for the radio conglomerate iHeartMedia—has made it a point to embrace the new direction that music is heading into. “The important goal is to diversify the New York foundation board, with more women, more people of color and [become] a board that reflects the artists that are now being inducted,” said Sykes, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
While new agendas are being set forward, traditional rock bands are still a mainstay of the Rock Hall. This year’s nominations include rock acts Motörhead, Judas Priest, Dave Matthews Band, Nine Inch Nails, the MC5, Thin Lizzy and T Rex, among others.
After nominations, the committee in charge of electing inductees—made up of more than 1,000 historians, members of the music history and every living Rock Hall inductee—fill out ballots with the five highest vote getters making up that year’s class. Beginning in 2012, fans have been allowed to vote who they think belongs in the Rock Hall, with the top five fan vote-getters making up one ballot. Artists become eligible to be nominated 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording, according to the Rock Hall’s official website.
The official inductees will be announced in January, with the ceremony to take place in May. The show will air at a later date on HBO.