The 35th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees have been announced. Out of the sixteen nominees nine are first timers. First time nominees Pat Benatar (pictured below with husband and guitarist Neil Geraldo), The Dave Matthews Band, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Motorhead, The Notorious B.I.G., Soundgarden, Thin Lizzy, and T. Rex join previous nominees Depeche Mode (3rd nomination), Judas Priest (2nd nomination), Kraftwerk (5th nomination), MC5 (4th nomination), Nine Inch Nails (3rd nomination), Rufus featuring Chaka Khan (4th nomination), and Todd Rundgren (2nd nomination).
To be eligible for nomination the artist or act must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. It’s quite rare for an artist to be nominated in their first year of eligibility, like The Notorious B.I.G. is this year. It is more often the case that they have waited too long to be nominated, such as in the cases of T. Rex (1994) (pictured below), Thin Lizzy (1997), and The Doobie Brothers (1997) (pictured bottom).
What else does it take besides the passage of time to become a nominee? Well, mainly the nomination is based on the artist’s musical influence on other artists, the length of their career, the depth of their body of work, the artist’s innovation of style/technique, and the artist’s superiority in their style/technique. Then there is the voting process.
A committee of more than 1,000 voting members consisting of former inductees, historians, and members of the music industry vote. There is no set number of nominees or inductees each year. The committee selects artists from different genres and sends those nominee ballots out to the committee voting members to get to a reasonable number of nominees.
In recent years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has conducted a fan vote, which does carry some weight in the final decision-making process of who to induct. So, from now until January 10, 2020, you can vote for your favorites up to five times each day. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be announcing the Class of 2020 sometime in January 2020.
Don't forget to check out our large selection of memorabilia from artists already in the RR HOF here.
Images--Pat Benatar: MusicGoldmine.com, T. Rex, Doobie Bros.: public domain.