Soundgarden is among first-time nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

By mbrooks on October 15, 2019
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 13: Kim Thayil and Chris Cornell of American rock group Soundgarden perform live on stage during the first day of Hard Rock Calling, at Hyde Park on July 13, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

By Matthew Brooks

Voting for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2020 begins today.

Soundgarden and the Doobie Brothers make their first ballot appearance this week.

Guitarist for Soundgarden, Kim Thayil, told Billboard that the nomination is significant in the light of bandmember Chris Cornell’s death in 2017.

“I thought this is important, especially for the legacy of Soundgarden, and for Chris’ legacy. It’s really important now to understand this from the perspective of the fans and to understand Soundgarden as both a current enterprise as well as a posthumous exercise,” Thayil said.

Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron is already in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of his membership in the band Pearl Jam.

It was once a band of rebellion against the mainstream media business. For Soundgarden to come to this point represents a change for the the business and for the band.

“It’s hard to appreciate or put perspective on quantifying achievement, especially in pop culture. … when you’re put in the position, certainly in the last couple of years, to look at it in terms of your body of work and legacy, it is a different perspective … but it does offer that perspective and understanding that you may or may not have when you’re young and starting out and you have no particular reason to regard any institution in rock n’ roll — other than your responsibility to be disaffected and rebellious,” Thayil continued.

Rock & Roll 2020 ballot

In addition to Soundgarden and the Doobie Brothers, the nominees are:

Pat Benatar

Judas Priest

Motorhead (first ballot appearance)

Dave Matthews Band (first ballot appearance)

Depeche Mode


Nine Inch Nails

Todd Rundgren

T. Rex (first ballot appearance)

Thin Lizzy (first ballot appearance)

Whitney Houston


the Notorious B.I.G.

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan

Voting is available on RockHall. Fan votes will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EST on Jan. 10.

The induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on May 2, 2020

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