Honors — January 15, 2020 at 6:12 am

Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Whitney Houston to enter Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 will include pioneering synthpop outfit turned stadium rockers Depeche Mode alongside Nine Inch Nails, Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.I.G., T. Rex and The Doobie Brothers, the organization announced this morning.

Famed managers Jon Landau and Iriving Azoff will each receive the Ahmet Ertegum Award.

Not making the cut in 2020: nominees Pat Benetar, Dave Matthews Band, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy.

This year’s induction will be held at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland on May 2. Rock Hall donors and members get “exclusive induction ticket opportunities” if they donate or join by Jan. 31. Visit rockhall.com/support to learn more. Tickets go on sale to Rock Hall members on Feb. 25 and to the general public at 10 a.m. Eastern Feb. 27 via Ticketmaster.

Artists are eligible for nomination into the Rock Hall beginning 25 years after their first release. This was Depeche Mode’s third nomination since becoming eligible in 2006; the band previously was nominated for the 2017 and 2018 classes. Former members Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder join the current lineup of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher in being inducted.

This was also the third nomination for Nine Inch Nails, eligible since 2014; the fifth time around for the MC5, eligible since 1991; and the sixth nod for Kraftwerk, eligible since 1995.

Last year, the Rock Hall inducted The Cure alongside Roxy Music, Janet Jackson, Radiohead and more.






  1. I love you know what kind of bullshit you’ve got going on with your voting totals Pat Benatar was way in the lead how is Whitney Houston makes it and Pat Benatar doesn’t this just to appease people do you even listen to the music Pat Benatar was way more influential to rock ‘n’ roll and Whitney Houston with her pop music that’s not even rock ‘n’ roll

  2. HalloweenJack

    RRHF is cack, simple/

  3. It’s just flat out unacceptable that NIN and Depeche Mode are in there but not Kraftwerk. Does historical relevance mean nothing?

  4. DM and NIN are in ahead of Kraftwerk for the same reason Nirvana are in and Joy Division are not – it’s a popularity contest with commercial record sales being the deciding factor, especially where America is concerned. That’s why we’ll probably never see Kate Bush get inducted, she wasn’t a big commercial success in the States, whereas the likes of Alain’s Morissette will probably go in on her first nomination, sad but true.

  5. I’m thrilled to see Depeche Mode finally get the recognition they deserve though, this has been a long time coming and I hope this finally opens the door for other 80s greats like INXS and Duran Duran to take their well deserved spots in the future.
    As for the other inductees, I’m fine with Whitney Houston, she had an amazing voice, fair enough she’s not exactly rock and roll but neither was Madonna.
    As for NIN, it wouldn’t bother me if I never heard their name again, just not into it, but fair enough.

    • haunted when the minutes drag

      Duran Duran is not in the Hall of Fame? Wow. I do not like them, but their impact on music videos alone seems like enough to get them in.

      INXS does not deserve to be in the Hall. I love INXS. Truly. But they broke no new ground during their time. They were just very, very successful and very good at what they did.

  6. Scott Stalcup

    What have we learned today?

    That being a classically trained vocalist, who was a pioneer in the early days of music video, with a career spanning decades means sod all against a drowned-in-the-bathtub crackhead whose main claim to fame is a karaoke version of Dolly Parton’s signature tune.

    Glad the CRock Hall sorted that out for me.

  7. In breaking news, the Rock Hall of Fame once again displays it’s irrelevance.

    Glad for DM but to ignore Judas Priest yet again instantly makes holding the ceremony pointless.
    Priest >>>>>>>>>>>>>>Whitney.

  8. The Rock and Roll hall of fame isn’t an induction of Quality or Talent. It’s never been relevant. Just popular artists. Yeah DM “deserves” it, but what does it actually “mean”?

    • Time to dig this out again:

      “Next to the Sex Pistols, rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. We’re not coming. We’re not your monkeys. If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. Your anonymous as judges but your still music industry people. We’re not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stream is a real Sex Pistol.”

  9. haunted when the minutes drag

    A few of thoughts on this. First, if DM is inducted, does Vince Clark get in as well? The answer should be yes because he was the main force in the band at inception and wrote, arguably, their biggest hit (not to mention Yaz and Eurasure). But because he left the band so early, does the RRHF ding him? That be be unjust.

    Second, I am not the biggest fan of Pat Benetar,
    but I am old enough to understand how huge and influential she was. If you need proof, just watch Fast Times. Every girl wanted to be her. And she had more hits than nearly any of her contemporaries. She also was the first big female star who could really rock and exude confident sexuality (Patti Smith was not commercially successful (same with Exene and siouxsie), Janis Joplin didn’t have the profile and lacked aesthetic appeal, and Glace Slick is just horrible on both counts). I guess Heart (in the mid-80s kind of had the same idea with Nancy Wilson, but nowhere near to the extent to which Pat benetar had it. Although I am not a fan of most her countless hits, she had legitimately good songs — You Better Run, Hell is for Children, Heartbreaker, Love is a Battlefield . . . I don’t like Madonna, but there would be no Madonna without Pat Benetar. If Madonna is in, Panetar should be as well.

    Third, Kraftwerk obviously belongs based on their impact – probably the same with the MC5. But I doubt either will make ever it because (at least as of late) the Hall rewards commercial success above all else (Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Journey, Green Day). But the true oversight here is Judas Priest. Yeah, yeah, they are metal and metal is, by and large, garbage. But they were great at it and had a huge impact on the bands ever since British Steel. How is Bon Jovi in the Hall, and Judas Priest is not. For that matter, why is Iron Maiden not in? Criminal!

    Finally, why was Dave Matthews Band even nominated?

    • haunted when the minutes drag

      I neglected to mention Deborah Harry. She probably occupied the same space as Pat Benetar. But then again, Blondie is in the Hall.

    • I’m guessing Benatar’s not in because her music was never taken seriously by anyone with any critical faculties … nor should it have been. It never broke any creative ground, it was all chart-targeted pop fluff and painfully over-reliant on other writers’ songs, and she was corporate-packaged cheesecake with a “tough” veneer. I remember some people getting all jazzed by that video where she and her girlfriends started dancing and pushed the pimp around — what a STATEMENT! — but the song was tripe, which pretty much goes for everything she and her husband wasted studio time on.

      Madonna’s in the Hall because she was a bona fide cultural phenomenon from Day 1. Debbie Harry pioneered and defined the scene as NY punk turned into New Wave. Chrissie Hynde actually IS tough. Benatar’s playing casinos and state fairs.

      Points for her Kate Bush cover though, that was pretty good.

      • haunted when the minutes drag

        I don’t disagree with a lot of what you say. However, it is worth noting that, contrived or not, she was pretty much the first female rocker to dominate the charts. I agree with your point on most of her music, but that accomplishment alone is worth recognizing. You have to remember how arena rock was (and largely still is) a male dominated space. Pat Benetar broke that mold, even if she broke no new musical ground. It would be one thing if the Hall truly recognized only supremely talented or groundbreaking artists. But the Hall inducted Journey, Bon Jovi, and, now, Witney Houston. If they are in, Pat Benetar shoudl be in.

        Couldn’t agree more with you re Chrissie Hynde. Not so much on Blondie. They always get credited as an integral part of the NY punk scene. And, true, in the beginning, they were. But that’s not why they are in the Hall. They are in the Hall because their radio friendly pop rock predictably appealed to the masses.

      • Your call on Pat Benatar is largly on target, but it is also a description that could be on target for many men who have been inducted to the HOF. Journey is pretty much the definition of “chart-targeted pop fluff” that was “corporate-packaged.” I would even argue that they, and this year’s inductees, The Doobie Brothers” actually broke even less ground than Benatar since they were men.

        I have no great emotional investment on Pat Benatar being inducted in to what is mostly a silly institution. But if she were Patrick Benatar, had the same hit songs with the same level of commercial success she’d be in by now.

        Madonna may be “a bona fide cultural phenomenon” but not from day one. Her songs were largely generic disposable pop fluff — some of Culture Club’s songs were more memorable. Madonna’s status as “a bona fide cultural phenomenon” stem more from her ambitions, marketing savy, and full understanding that controversy sells. Her career was every bit as calculated as Benatar’s and her music every bit as contrived and inconsequential.

        • Aaaand the representation card is dealt. Time to leave the table! 8-)

          • Meh. In the grand scheme of things if makes no difference. But if we are talking strictly merit there are plenty of those who are in who are no more worthy than PB — Journey, The Doobie Brothers, etc.

            They whole thing is absurd and every year the Pistols are proven right.

  10. Wow! I was already listening to “Some Great Reward” when I saw this news!

  11. Yes…it was announced that both Vince and Alan will be inducted along with Dave, Martin and Andrew.

  12. Scott Stalcup

    I suppose the greatest tragedy in all this is The Doobie Brothers are being inducted and Rerun isn’t alive to bootleg their performance.

  13. Scott Stalcup

    If ONE person got it, it’s worth it.

  14. This is one of the worst feeling lists I have seen yet. TO exclude Pat Benatar and induct Whiney just seems against the law. What is wrong with RRHF people? And Kraftwerk. I have listened to them since 74 and grown with them. They opened doors for so many bands with electronic sounds. Never have I felt so passionate about 2 people being inducted that have no business being there.

  15. I think everyone’s pretty much in agreement on Kraftwerk deserving a nod at some point – the VU of electronica, the band without which not a lot would have happened after.

    Yes to NIN, for making “industrial” safe for the masses and being damn smart about it. It would be cool if they get Robert Smith to induct them.

    Even making allowance the Hall has to strike a balancing act between critical stature and record sales, Whitney’s a head scratcher. Scary to think a Celine Dion induction might be just around the corner.

  16. HalloweenJack

    I sincerely hope that WHEN Kraftwerk are inducted, they do not turn up to the ceremony and perform on that bullshit stage.

  17. IhopeLinneaQuiglysinit

    I’d wager Andrea Boccelli, Wreckx in Effect, Billy Eilish, John Schneider and Another Bad Creation will be inducted before Kraftwerk.

  18. Hi all – great for those inducted. Big shame for Kraftwerk though. Nice to see Mode have all 5 guys included. In their 40th anniversary year too. Hope all 5 perform too. Can we get someone like Steve Morris from New Order to do the induction? Am assuming NIN will perform with a mash up era lineup – Trenters plus Rob Finck, Danny Lohner, Alex Cortini and Chris Vrenna would be cool. I’d have Robert Smith induct NIN. Or Ralf Hutter. Can Ringo Starr induct T Rex?

  19. Yes Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder are both listed on the inductee page, they will be invited. This would be a huge thrill for DM fans. They could be part of the acceptance and maybe even perform. Setlist speculations anyone?
    NIN on the other hand only lists Trent as an inductee though he said he would prefer his band to be inducted, the rules are based on original album credits.
    See you in Cleveland for an amazing show!

  20. From the Erasure Info Service email today re DM in rock hall and Vince’s reaction:

    “Vince told me that he is delighted ‘for the lads’ but – before you ask! – it’s unlikely that he will be involved in the ceremony in any way. Congratulations to Vince and to DM!”

  21. What, what? The Notorious B.I.G., who isn’t the slightest bit rock, is in, but Pat Benetar, Judas Priest, Motörhead, etc. aren’t? What a joke.

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