This marks the first time the iconic Brooklyn rapper and Houston have been included on the ballot.
The 35th annual ceremony will be broadcast live May 2 on HBO from the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio. Performances and special guests will be announced later, but will likely include a number of tribute performances given that many of the inductees have passed away.
To be eligible this year, each nominee’s first single or album had to be released in 1994 or earlier.
Artists who were nominated, but not inducted this year include Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Pat Benatar, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, Dave Matthews Band, MC5, Motorhead, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy.
Nine of the 16 total nominees were on the ballot for the first time. Chaka Khan, with and without the group Rufus, has been up for nomination six times. (Let our girl in, y’all!)
Last year’s inductees were former ESSENCE cover star Janet Jackson, the Cure, Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Roxy Music and the Zombies.