JUDAS PRIEST, MC5, MOTÖRHEAD, NINE INCH NAILS, SOUNDGARDEN, T.REX and THIN LIZZY are among the nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2020. Also nominated are Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Pat Benatar, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND, DEPECHE MODE, THE DOOBIE BROTHERS, KRAFTWERK, RUFUS FEATURING CHAKA KHAN and Todd Rundgren. The top vote-getters will be announced in January and inducted May 2, 2020 at a ceremony at Cleveland's Public Hall.
To be eligible for this year's ballot, each nominee's first single or album had to be released in 1994 or earlier.
A voter pool of more than 1,000 artists, historians, journalists and members of the music industry will select the new class. Fans will also have a chance to take part in the process by voting at RockHall.com or an interactive kiosk at the museum in Cleveland.
According to Rolling Stone, the Hall Of Fame has also announced the individual members of each band that will be inducted. Les Binks, K.K. Downing, Rob Halford, Ian Hill, Dave Holland, Glenn Tipton and Scott Travis are on the ballot for JUDAS PRIEST. Trent Reznor will accept the honor alone should NINE INCH NAILS get in. MOTÖRHEAD are represented by Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, "Fast" Eddie Clarke and Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, while T.REX members Marc Bolan, Mickey Finn, Steve Currie, Bill Legend were selected and THIN LIZZY will be represented by Phil Lynott, Brian Downey, Eric Bell, Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson.
Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands like IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that group's first year of eligibility.
Having been eligible for induction since 1999, JUDAS PRIEST was on the ballot for last year's class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but ultimately didn't clinch the nomination.
Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible a quarter century after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other "criteria include the influence and significance of the artists' contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock 'n' roll," which is, of course, open to interpretation.
Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn't get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014.
DEEP PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but didn't get inducted until 2016.
Last year, PRIEST singer Rob Halford said that he believed his band will eventually be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He said: "Everybody has different opinions on this Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. It's kind of a controversial issue for some musicians. And I think everybody in the band has a slightly different observation on it. But I think on the whole, it's no different to the other institutions of the same experience in America, like the Basketball Hall Of Fame and the Football Hall Of Fame. If you are included in that kind of place, it's something of an honor, because you're surrounded by your peers, you're surrounded by the people who enjoyed the same life and experience in that kind of endeavor. So if that does happen for JUDAS PRIEST, I think it will be a wonderful moment, because we're a British heavy metal band and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is an American institution, but it still carries weight around the world. So we'll wait and see. I think we will get in there eventually, hopefully."
Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing, who left the band acrimoniously eight years ago, told BlastEcho in a 2016 interview that he "would be fine" with performing with his former bandmates at the Rock Hall induction ceremony if they were to ever receive the honor. Halford was also open to the idea of reuniting with Downing on the night, telling Billboard in 2017: "Everything's on the table for anyone that's been associated with PRIEST in and out of the band."
With PEARL JAM and fellow Seattle icons NIRVANA both having been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, it would only make sense that SOUNDGARDEN — who have been eligible since 2013 and were on that vaunted scene before either of those other bands — get recognized as well. But just a few weeks before his May 2017 death, SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell said it was not something he thought about all that much.
"To be honest, it doesn't really make any difference to me," he told Den Of Geek, although he himself inducted HEART and admitted he was "really proud" of bandmate Matt Cameron, who was inducted as a member of PEARL JAM. "I'm not trying to be negative about it. The one thing about inducting HEART was that I was actually really moved by their fans, and the fans were the people in the cheap seats that were screaming, and they were outside saying hi every time you'd come and go over the course of the two days. That was when it made sense to me, that it matters to the fans, and if it matters to the fans, then I think it matters. But they deserve ownership of it."