LOS ANGELES — Country music legend Dolly Parton summed up an unusual and diverse class of musicians, speaking at Saturday’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2022 induction ceremony at the Microsoft Theater.
“I guess I’m a rock star now,” Parton, 76, said happily after accepting the honor, joining Lionel Richie, Duran Duran, Eminem, Judas Priest, Pat Benatar, Carly Simon and the Eurythmics in the class. current.
Parton – who originally asked Rock Hall to withdraw her nomination because she didn’t earn the right – embraced her emerging rock identity on Saturday, even changing into a black leather rocker ensemble to perform a guitar number electric that she had written especially for the event. .
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“Since I’m going to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I’m going to write a song for it,” Parton said, promising an upcoming rock album to an audience that included Bruce Springsteen, U2’s The Edge, Sheryl Corbeau and Dave Grohl. . “Are any of you going to help me with this? Because I’m going to make you.”
Parton’s entry came at the end of a bloated five-and-a-half-hour event that will be widely edited and aired on HBO on November 19.
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Robert Downey Jr. kicked off the festivities, introducing Duran Duran as a fanboy.
“I’m a lucky guy to be here tonight,” said Downey, who recalled the universal fervor around the band, including when Duran Duran played at their 50th birthday party. “Halfway through ‘Rio’, this eminent director’s wife ripped her bra off and threw her on stage.”
After being refused entry by Rock Hall for 17 years, the British MTV favorites showed their power during an onstage medley that included “Girls on Film”, “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Ordinary World”.
But Duran Duran’s night was bittersweet, as original guitarist Andy Taylor couldn’t join them on stage due to his stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer.
Lead singer Simon Le Bon read an open letter from the 61-year-old guitarist on the podium, who expressed his disappointment at missing the ceremony after suffering a serious health problem.
“Let there be no doubt that I was thrilled with it all, even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy,” Taylor’s letter said of the induction. “I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure I’m glad to be here to see the day.”
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After a glowing introduction from Sheryl Crow, Benatar, 69, was inducted along with longtime bandmate and husband of 43 years, guitarist Neil Giraldo. Benatar, a classically trained musician, thanked his family, which includes two adult daughters and three grandchildren.
“It was an amazing race,” Benatar said. “To my partner and love, 43 years ago in a rehearsal studio, could you have imagined that night?”
After his introduction by Lenny Kravitz, former Commodore Richie, 73, said it was a good thing the venue was going beyond the parameters of rock music purists.
“Rock ‘n’ roll isn’t a color, it’s a feeling, it’s a vibe,” Richie said. “And if we let that vibe go, this room will only grow and grow.”
Richie thanked his family present, including his daughters Nicole and Sofia, for enduring his journey through “my magical mystery tour” of a career, adding that it wasn’t going to end anytime soon.
“I probably won’t be going home for quite a while. I’m in love with this job,” he said.
Detroit’s Eminem was inducted by longtime collaborator Dr. Dre, who praised the ‘downtrodden’ white rapper who ‘broke the glass ceiling’ to become one of hip-hop’s hottest artists. sold all the time.
“I’m probably not supposed to be here tonight for a couple of reasons,” Eminem said as he accepted the honor. “I know I’m a rapper and this is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”
Onstage, Eminem performed parts of his hit “My Name Is,” then brought in Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler to sing the “Dream On” chorus for “Sing for the Moment.” As the rain fell on stage, Eminem, who was wearing a hoodie, invited Ed Sheeran to sing his part in “River.”
“I realize what an honor it is for me to be here tonight,” Eminem said from the podium. “And what a privilege to make the music I love – music that basically saved my life.”
Parton helped close out the night with her country classic “Jolene,” performed with an all-star ensemble that included Crow and Brandi Carlile – along with fellow inductees Le Bon, Benatar, a cowboy hat-wearing Annie Lennox and Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford.
“Congratulations to everyone here,” Parton said. “I feel like a hillbilly in the city.”
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