The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Inductions: 6 Tributes Worthy of Ovations

Whitney Houston
Fiona Hanson/PA Images via Getty Images

There’s no all-star jam at Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame museum this year.

Rather than the traditional live ceremony, where presenters give speeches and perform with (or in honor of) inductees, this taped special plays more like a fascinating two-hour Behind the Music. We see deeper into the artists’ rise and influence with archival interview and performance clips, and get even more testimonials from famous fans.

Executive producer and Hall of Fame CEO Joel Peresman previews the six acts worthy of at-home standing ovations.  

T. Rex

Ringo Starr leads a colorful tribute focusing on the English glam rockers’ trailblazing frontman, the late Marc Bolan. “You see [clips of] David Bowie talking about how he and Marc were coming up at the same time, and Marc did what he wanted to do first,” Peresman says. “He influenced Bowie…it’s crazy!”

The Doobie Brothers

Country star Luke Bryan kicks off this lovefest, which features member Michael McDonald discussing the group’s 50-year run as one of the most recognizable sounds of the ’70s California rock scene. 

Depeche Mode

Superfan Charlize Theron is first to laud the British synth-pop group, praising them for embracing the outsider: “Their music brings people together from all walks of life and makes them feel OK about being different,” she says.

Depeche Mode (Ebet Roberts/Redferns/GETTY IMAGES)

Nine Inch Nails

Icon Iggy Pop bestows the honor in a sequence that charts band leader Trent Reznor’s evolution from industrial-rock innovator to Oscar-winning film composer (The Social Network).  

The Notorious B.I.G.

Collaborator Sean “Diddy” Combs hails him as “the greatest rapper of all time.” Inducted in his first year of eligibility, the late son of immigrants also receives props from Lin-Manuel Miranda.  

Nine Inch Nails (Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Whitney Houston

Alicia Keys offers a poignant toast to her idol and dear friend, recalling how they became “kindred spirits and instant sisters” while working together on Houston’s final album. “You want people to talk from the heart about what these artists meant to them,” Peresman says. “Sometimes, these people wouldn’t have started singing if it wasn’t for [hearing] these artists.”

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Inductions, Saturday, November 7, 8/7c, HBO