Rock and roll may never die, but it can be knocked down a few pegs by the coronavirus. Despite rescheduling its induction ceremony until November to deal with the ongoing pandemic, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame confirmed today that an in-person induction in Cleveland, Ohio, will be canceled in favor of an “exclusive special” to honor the 2020 class. Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, the Notorious B.I.G., T-Rex, and Ahmet Ertegun Award honorees Jon Landau and Irving Azoff will all be effectively inducted into the Hall with this online special, which will be available to stream on HBO and HBO Max on Saturday, November 7. Formatting details — such as if each honoree will still be inducted by a peer or partake in a recorded performance or two — have yet to be finalized.
“To protect the health and safety of our inductees, their families, crews and our attendees, we’ve made the decision that the scheduled live event is not possible,” John Sykes, Rock Hall Foundation chairman, said in a statement. “Together with HBO and executive producer Joel Gallen, we will still create an exciting program honoring our 2020 inductees, by telling the stories of their incredible contributions to music and impact on a generation of artists that followed them.” Prior to the coronavirus becoming a pandemic, the 2020 induction ceremony was originally set to occur in Cleveland on May 2. Dave Matthews Band fans must be feeling awfully smug right now, huh?