The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will honor two artists who made an undeniable impact on the culture, helping to shape the confines of R&B, soul music, hip hop and rap music today.
On Wednesday singer Whitney Houston and rapper The Notorious B.I.G. were posthumously announced as inductees into the respected cannon of musical entertainers, according to The New York Times. The ceremony will take place on May 2 at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium. Other honorees include, the Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode and T. Rex.
Houston who was also known as “The Voice,” is the only woman to be honored this year. Her vocal range and singing abilities were unmatched and she remains one of the most respected and talented singers of all time. Houston tragically died on February 12, 2012, at the age of 48 after she was found unresponsive in the bathtub of the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. A medical examiner later ruled the cause of death was an accidental drowning, and “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.” She remains one of the most successful artists in the world with 200 million albums sold worldwide.
The Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, emerged on the music scene in the early 90’s, elevating the level and range of story-telling used by MC’s and rappers. He also helped widen the playing game for artists who do not fit the European standard of beauty mold. Wallace was 24-years-old when he was shot and killed on March 9, 1997 in Los Angeles, California. His death marked the career end of one of most promising rappers of the time. His style and method can be seen in the lyrics of his contemporaries and found within the hip hop artists of today.
The inductees are picked by an international voting body of over 1,000 artists, historians and members of the music industry. Artists are only eligible 25 years after the release of their first single, album or first body of work. Meaning this year’s class is eligible because they first released music in 1994 or earlier.
This year for the first time, the ceremony will be broadcast live on HBO and is slated to air at 8 p.m. EST on May 2. A list of performers and special guests will be announced at a later date.