Music has some new royalty after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its new class of inductees Wednesday, including four first-time nominees like Whitney Houston and Notorious B.I.G.
John Goehrke, the Hall of Fame’s Director of Fan Engagement, told Cheddar this class of inductees “celebrates the diversity of Rock and Roll.” In addition to Houston and Biggie, the Doobie Brothers, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and T. Rex join the prestigious club.
“I think it's a very diverse class of inductees, which, to us, is awesome because rock and roll has never been one thing. It’s always been more about the spirit and an attitude than about the music sounds, the way an artist looks,” said Goehrke.
Artists become eligible for admission 25 years after the release of their first records. Ballots are sent to more than 1,000 artists, scholars, current living Inductees, and members of the music industry. An artist’s influence on other artists, the length of their career, and their musical impact are all factors taken into consideration when voting for a new class of inductees.
This year, the Hall of Fame also received more than 8.2 million votes from the official Fan Vote, an increase from the 3.3 million votes it got in 2018. Despite the outpouring (especially for Dave Matthews Band fans), the top five Fan Vote-getters comprise a single “fans’ ballot” which get counted along with the thousand others.
There were 16 nominees this year, and for those fans whose idols didn’t land on top, Goehrke noted there is no expiration date. “If you feel a little disappointed today, that’s okay. Hopefully, next year, or the year after, will be your year,” Goehrke said.
This year’s induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 2 in Cleveland. For those not lucky enough to get a ticket, it will also be available to watch on HBO.