Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Recap

The 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will finally air this Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8:00pm on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max alongside a radio simulcast on SiriusXM’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Radio channel 310 and Volume in the SXM App. The induction ceremony took place at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Nov. 5. During the event John Sykes, the chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, also revealed that Los Angeles will now join Cleveland and New York as a regular home for the annual event.

This year’s inductees included Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon. Judas Priest and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis were honored for Musical Excellence. Harry Belafonte and Elizabeth Cotten for Early Influence and Allen Grubman, Jimmy Iovine, and Sylvia Robinson for the Ahmet Ertegun Award. To be eligible, artists are required to have released their first record 25 years before Induction. Eminem, Duran Duran, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, and Carly Simon were first-time nominees while Sylvia Robinson is the first African American woman to receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award. This is also the first year in the Hall’s 37-year history that six female acts have been inducted in one class.

The five-and-a-half hours' ceremony included touching segments from an array of artists celebrating each icon. Longtime friend and collaborator Janet Jackson, rocking the same look of her 1986 Control cover art, honored Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam. Duran Duran were inducted by Robert Downey Jr and performed an orchestral rendition of their hits “Girls On Film,” “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Ordinary World,” before delivering a heartfelt speech. Frontman Simon Le Bon began the speech by reading a letter from former member Andy Taylor. In the touching letter, he explained his absence and revealed he has stage four prostate cancer. 

Dolly Parton, who initially declined the honor for not being “rock” enough, is fulfilling her promise of earning her induction by live-debuting a new song off her upcoming rock album alongside Zac Brown on guitar and backing vocals. Her set included duets from P!nk and Brandi Carlile on “Coat of Many Colors,” Sheryl Crow and Zac Brown Band on “9 to 5” and a rousing finale featuring almost every inductee for “Jolene.” Lionel Richie was inducted by Lenny Kravitz and his set included his biggest hits “Hello,” “All Night Long (All Night),” and Dave Grohl made a surprise appearance for “Easy. Eminem was inducted by longtime friend and collaborator Dr. Dre, who told the tale of their first session and how the icon line “Hi, my name is…” was created. After the speech Eminem performed a fiery medley of “Rap God,” Steven Tyler made a surprise appearance for “Dream On” which Eminem samples on “Sing for the Moment,” Ed Sheeran appeared during “Stan,” and his performance ended with “Forever” and “Not Afraid.” Carly Simon was unable to attend the ceremony and was inducted by Sara Bareilles. Bareilles read a letter from Simon that said “I am humbled, shocked, proud, overachieved, underqualified and singularly grateful.” Bareilles later gave a rousing performance of “Nobody Does It Better” before welcoming Olivia Rodrigo who gave a solo rendition of “You’re So Vain.”

Judas Priest celebrated their honor by highlighting their enormous metal influence. Alice Cooper said during their induction speech, “Judas Priest are truly the definitive metal band. Heavy metal didn’t have a look until Judas Priest.” While Rob Halford delivered one of the best lines of the night, “I’m the gay guy in the band. The heavy metal community is all-inclusive, everybody’s welcome… We’re all about the power and the emotion and the dedication and the love.” After the speech, they gave an electric performance of the hits “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight.” Sheryl Crow inducted the duo of Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo by holding up the couple’s 1980 Rolling Stone cover and gushing over their well-deserved induction. The duo performed a medley of “All Fired Up,” “Love Is a Battlefield” and “Heartbreaker.” Jimmy Iovine was inducted by Bruce Springsteen while the Eurythmics by The Edge. The event was a great reminder of how influential these artists are in the music industry and why they deserve all the acclaim and recognition.

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