Doobie Brothers, T. Rex Head Rock Hall Class of 2020

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The Doobie Brothers and T. Rex head the list of six acts that have been selected for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s Class of 2020. They’ll be joined by Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, and The Notorious B.I.G. The news was revealed today (Jan. 15) exactly three months after 16 nominees were announced last Oct. 15.

Those nominated this year but on the outside looking in: Pat Benatar, Judas Priest, the Dave Matthews Band, Motörhead, Todd Rundgren, Thin Lizzy, Kraftwerk, MC5, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan and Soundgarden.

In addition, executives Jon Landau and Irving Azoff will be inducted as recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award. Landau is Bruce Springsteen’s longtime manager, and is a member of the Rock Hall Foundation.

As a journalist in 1974, Landau famously wrote about a concert in Boston that “I saw rock and roll’s future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”

Azoff is a veteran artist manager (Eagles, Dan Fogelberg, Joe Walsh, among many others), and longtime music industry executive.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will be held at Public Auditorium in Cleveland on May 2. Tickets go on-sale Feb. 27.

The Rock Hall announces 15 or more nominees each October, chosen by an elite nominating committee that meets in New York City to discuss its picks. In order to become eligible for nomination, an artist must have recorded for the first time 25 years prior to the date of the induction. As the new crop of inductees will enter the Hall in 2020, they must have made their first recording in 1995.

This was the first time that classic rock legends Benatar, the Doobie Brothers, Motörhead, T.

Rex and Thin Lizzy had gotten on the ballot. Thin Lizzy had been eligible since 1993.

It was the second time for Judas Priest who were on the 2018 list. Rundgren had made the ballot for the first time in 2019.

It was the third try for Depeche Mode who have been eligible since 2006. Kraftwerk have been nominated five times previously.

Among the 2019 nominees, only MC5 (formed in 1964), Todd Rundgren (who was with the band Nazz), T. Rex (formed in 1967) and Thin Lizzy (formed in 1969) had careers predating the 1970s.

The following Doobie Brothers members will be inducted: Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, John Hartman, Michael Hossack, Tom Johnston, Keith Knudsen, Michael McDonald, John McFee, Tiran Porter and Patrick Simmons.

Related: The Doobie Brothers are reuniting with McDonald for a big 50th anniversary tour

“I can’t imagine a better start to our 50th year than by being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” said Tom Johnston. “Earning the recognition of our peers is a great honor that I don’t take lightly. This is a stellar moment for the Doobie Brothers.”

“It’s been one of the great honors of my life to share the stage with all these guys over the years. To see the band receive this honor is wonderful to say the least,” said Michael McDonald.

Pat Simmons said, “My gratitude goes out to our amazing Doobie fans for their generous support, as well as those with the Hall Of Fame who have been kind enough to acknowledge our musical efforts.”

Ballots were sent to an international voting body of more than 1000 artists, historians and members of the music industry. Factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique are taken into consideration. The number of artists inducted each year fluctuates but an artist must receive votes from 50 percent or more of the voting body to make the final cut.

When the 2020 nominees were announced last October, fans took to social media to make their case for scores of favorites that didn’t make the cut including such classic rock stars as Foreigner, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Bad Company, and Warren Zevon.

Related100 crucial omissions from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Dave Matthews Band and Benatar won the “fan ballot” that was tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2020 inductees. The fan vote is largely a PR stunt; it counts as just one vote among the many hundreds of industry insiders on the voting panel.

The selection for the Class of 2020 was the final one with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner serving as Chairman of the Rock Hall Foundation. Last September, he announced that he was stepping down from that role, though he’ll remain on the board. His replacement is music industry veteran, John Sykes, a member of the nominating committee since 1997.

In a Sept. 26 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Sykes said about eligible artists, “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is no longer about a single genre of music. It’s about all the music that aspires to connect with young people… It’s about the music that changed our culture. This year Notorious B.I.G. is eligible and I think he has a good shot at getting in.

“We have to reflect what fans truly love,” he said.

It was only in recent years that such classic rock legends as Chicago, Steve Miller, Cheap Trick and Deep Purple (all Class of 2016), ELO, Journey and Yes (all Class of 2017), Bon Jovi, Moody Blues, the Cars and Dire Straits (all Class of 2018) and Def Leppard and Roxy Music (both Class of 2019), were inducted… decades after they were eligible.

Related: New Rock Hall Foundation chairman promises changes

HBO will also once again broadcast the ceremony. It will air live in 2020 for the first time in years. SiriusXM will also carry a radio simulcast.

Related: Links to 100s of classic rock tours

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  1. Clayman9151
    #1 Clayman9151 15 January, 2020, 17:58

    I think it’s sad that Todd Rundgren did not make it. He is so deserving not only as an artist but as a producer. He should have been inducted long ago

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