Tragic singers Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston will be amongst the first stars to be inducted into the new R&B Music Hall of Fame, it has been announced.

Jackson passed away in June 2009 of propofol intoxication after suffering a respiratory arrest at his LA home.

I will Always Love You Hitmaker Houston 48, was found dead at the Beverley Hilton Hotel on 11 February.

A coroner's report confirmed a death of accidental drowning brought on by cocaine use and heart disease. She was found submerged face down in the bath in her hotel room

The late superstars are set to be immortalised alongside 23 other inductees at the museum when it opens in 2013.

The R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum will pay tribute to artists who have made important contributions to the music genre.

Its inaugural class includes R&B greats such as Aretha Franklin, James Brown, The Temptations, Otis Redding, The O'Jays and Gerald Levert.

Former civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton will also be honoured with the Ron Banks Humanitarian Award for his long-term support of soul and R&B artists.

A special induction ceremony is scheduled to take place on 5 May in Cleveland, Ohio.

Plans for an American Pop Music Hall of Fame are also said to be in the works.