Lionel Richie, Eminem, Dolly Parton, Pat Benatar Roll Into Rock Hall of Fame as Duran Duran Laughs Off Technical Issues
Although the four acts had their own ways of celebrating Saturday night, they can all now be called Rock & Roll Hall of Famers. Also, Carly Simon, Eurythmics and Judas Priest are Dolly Parton ,, who gave the honor a warm embrace after temporarily refusing it.
The first act inducted at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles after a memorable speech from a shaven-headed Robert Downey Jr., Duran Duran took the stage and launched into their 1981 breakthrough hit “Girls on Film.”
The music was not the focus of the shrieking crowd. Simon Le Bon, the singer, was the only one who could hear the band. His vocals were almost entirely a cappella.
It was a fun, if not inauspicious, beginning to a mostly slick, often triumphant show.
“The wonderful spontaneous world of rock ‘n’ roll!” the 64-year-old Le Bon shouted as the band stopped for a do-over.
They regrouped at full volume and played a set that included “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “Ordinary World” and “Ordinary World.” Downey described their essence as “CSF — cool, sophisticated, fun
Richie brought warmth and chill to the room hours later when he opened his set with a stripped rendition of his ballad, “Hello”. It seemed that Richie was almost choking from the weight of the moment.
Richie was inducted by Lenny Kravitz.
After “Hello,” Richie breezed into his 1977 hit with the Commodores, “Easy.” The vibe went from smooth to triumphant when Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl made a surprise appearance to play a guitar solo and swap vocals with Richie. That led into a sing-along, celebratory rendition of 1983’s “All Night Long,” which brought the night’s biggest reaction.
Richie lashed at those who accused Richie of having strayed too far from his Black roots in his career.
He said, “Rock ‘n roll is not a colour.” It is a feeling. It is a feeling. This room will grow and flourish .”
if it is allowed to feel that vibe.
Eurythmics took the stage next with a soulful, danceable rendition of 1986’s “Missionary Man.”
Annie Lennox sang, “Well, I was born an origin sinner, and I was born from original sin,” bringing the crowd to its feet four hours in. The song was followed by a lively rendition of “Sweet Dreams “, their most well-known hit.
Dave Stewart, Lennox’s musical partner, called Lennox, moments later, “one of the greatest performers and singers of all times .”
“Thank you, Dave,” Lennox said, in tears.
Eminem was, as he has been throughout his entire career, the exception. He was the only hip-hop artist among the inductees, the only one whose heyday came after the 1980s, and he brought an edge to the evening that was otherwise missing outside of the heavy metal stylings of Judas Priest.
He also elevated the guest-star game. After opening briefly with 1999’s “My Name Is,” he brought on Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler to sing the chorus of “Dream On” for 2003’s “Sing for the Moment,” which samples the Aerosmith classic. As rain fell on the stage, Ed Sheeran was brought on to sing his part in the 2017 Eminem song “River”.
Eminem, in a black hoodie, stated that he was probably not supposed to be present tonight for two reasons. “One, I know is that I’m a rapper, and this is Rock & Roll Hall of Fame .”
He’s only the 10th hip-hop artist among well over 300 members of the Hall of Fame.
His mentor and producer Dr. Dre inducted him. He is credited with saving his own life.
But hitmakers of the 1980s defined the night.
Sheryl Crow inducting Benatar said that Pat always reached deep into her soul and roared out of the speakers.
Benatar was inducted with Neil Giraldo, her longtime musical partner, and she took to the stage shortly afterwards.
“We are young!” the 69-year-old sang, her long, gray hair flowing as she soared through a version of 1983’s “Love Is a Battlefield.”
Inductees absent from the ceremony included Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, who is four years into a fight with advanced prostate cancer, the 95-year-old Belafonte and Simon, who lost sisters Joanna Simon and Lucy Simon, both also singers, to cancer on back-to-back days last month.
Carly Simon was a first-time nominee this year more than 25 years after becoming eligible. Olivia Rodrigo, 60 years Simon’s junior and by far the youngest performer of the night, took the stage to sing Simon’s signature song, “You’re So Vain.”
Janet Jackson was dressed in a black suit and wore a huge pile of hair on her head. She recreated the cover of her breakthrough album, “Control,” and inducted Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, the writer-producers.
Parton declined to be nominated for a spot as a country-to the-core artist when the nominees were announced in may. Parton was convinced and became Saturday’s headliner.
She shouted, “I’m now a rock star!” as she accepted the honor. “This is a very special night .”
Parton stated that she would have to retroactively gain her spot. Parton disappeared, and she returned shortly afterward in black leather and an electric guitar. She then sang a song she had written for the occasion.
“I have been rockin’ rockin’ rockin’ rockin’ since the day that I was born,” she said, “and I will be rockin’ until the day that I’m gone .”
She ended the night by leading an all-star jam with her fellow inductees to her country classic “Jolene”. Rob Halford, Judas Priest singer, and Le Bon also took part.
Parton stated, “We got a star studded stage up there.” “I feel like a hillbilly in the city.”
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.