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January 15, 2020

Whitney Houston among 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees

The New Jersey native receives the honor in her first year nominated

The late Whitney Houston will soon add another accolade – Rock and Roll Hall of Famer – to her accomplished musical career. 

The Newark, New Jersey native was one of six artists named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Wednesday. The other members of the 2020 class are The Notorious B.I.G., The Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, T-Rex and Depeche Mode.

The six nominees were selected from a group of 16 finalists that was revealed in October. Some notable artists to miss out this year included Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, and Soundgarden.

Houston, who died in 2012 at age 48, is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 200 million records worldwide. She was a six-time Grammy Award winner and 25-time Grammy nominee. The Guinness World Records has dubbed her the most-awarded female artist in history.

Houston's performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV in 1991 is considered by many to be the best performance of the national anthem.

This was the first nomination and appearance on the ballot for Houston, Biggie Smalls, The Doobie Brothers and T-Rex. It was the third nomination for Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, an artist or band must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to being inducted. Ballots are cast by a voting body of more than 1,000 members of the music industry, including artists, journalists and historians. 

Also, this was the fourth time that the Hall implemented a fan vote as part of the section proces, according to News 5 Cleveland. Benatar, Dave Matthews Band and Soundgarden were three of the top four vote-getters in the fan poll, according to WKYC. The fan vote counts as a single ballot, according to the New York Times.

The recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award will be Irving Azoff, the longtime manager of the Eagles, and Jon Landau, who has served as New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen's manager. The recognition honors members of the music industry who have had a major influence on rock and roll.

The class will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 35th annual ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on May 2nd. For the first time, the induction ceremony can be watched live at 8:00 p.m. ET on HBO.