The nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 2020 class have been announced, and among the 16 candidates stands hard-rock and heavy-metal royalty such as Judas Priest, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden, MC5 and more. Generally a bit controversial, the Hall of Fame seems to have leaned into the “rock” side of things this go-round, while still giving a nod to other popular genres with acts like rapper Notorious B.I.G. and electronic-music pioneers Kraftwerk on the ballot.
Legendary leather-clad Priest frontman Rob Halford told Billboard of the nod, “It’s just another thrill, again, to be nominated, and so quickly because I know sometimes the nominations can get stretched out for quite a long period of time. So to get another one so quickly is wonderful and another great moment for the Priest and for our fans.” The band were previous nominated in 2018, but did not make the final cut, and then were then left out last year.
Nine Inch Nails’ nomination, their third, came just one year after Trent Reznor delivered a stunning and emotional speech while inducting a band that deeply influenced him, the Cure, who he called “one of the most unique, most brilliant, most heartbreakingly excellent rock bands the world has ever known.”
Though they’ve been eligible since 1996 and have surely influenced countless untold acts in their wake, Irish rock band Thin Lizzy earned their first nomination, which is also the case for British untouchables Motörhead, who have somehow managed to escape inclusion despite being the one heavy band to unite punks, metalheads and god knows who else over the last nearly half a century. Seattle grunge superstars Soundgarden — despite this being the ninth possible year they could have come up — are also on the docket for the first time.
See the full list of nominated artists on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s website and watch the headlines in January to see who will be inducted into the Hall at May’s ceremony.