After announcing in January that Whitney Houston and the Notorious B.I.G. are among the 2020 Inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Foundation behind the exhibit soon had to swerve from its planned live induction ceremony this May in Cleveland due to considerations of COVID-19.
Luckily, fans of the powerhouse singer and “Big Poppa” rapper will still get a chance to watch the marking of their induction into the museum of musical greats, in a special production that will air on HBO this Saturday.
According to Billboard, the pre-taped program will feature 10 minute packages that highlight each of this year’s honorees—among them Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, and T-Rex—along with commentary from some of their biggest fans.
Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, recently told Billboard how the honorees’ stories will find different and more in-depth formatting, with 10-minute highlight packages as opposed to the two or three minutes usually given per person. “Part of our mission as an institution is to really teach people why these artists are important and why they got inducted,” he said.
Dave Grohl will kick off the special with a “heartfelt introduction” to the Class of 2020, while Jennifer Hudson will presumably pay tribute to inductee Houston, and Diddy will presumably honor his inductee and beloved friend Biggie. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Don Henley (Class of 1998 with the Eagles) and Bruce Springsteen (Class of 1999) will induct their longtime managers Azoff and Landau, respectively.
While this year’s ceremony won’t feature live performances as usual, Peresman said the Hall of Fame worked with HBO and executive producer Joel Gallen to create an exciting program that tells the stories of the 2020 inductees’ “incredible contribution to music and impact on a generation of artists that followed them”.
A trailer for the 35th annual induction ceremony shows artists like Alicia Keys, Diddy, and Jennifer Hudson giving props to Houston and Biggie, who will join other African-American greats in the music industry like Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, and Marvin Gaye, who are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will air exclusively on HBO and HBO Max this Saturday November 7 at 8 p.m. ET.