The 32nd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Friday evening, and boy was it the hottest ticket in town. Six incredible bands and artists were welcomed in the the prestigious but often criticized club with Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, Journey, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur and Yes all receiving their Rock Hall trophies by the end of the evening. CHIC's Nile Rodgers was also honored at the event, taking home an equally impressive “Award for Musical Excellence.”
With some of the best popular musicians of the last 50 years in the building, there were bound to be some amazing moments. So in the spirit of rebellious rock and roll, here are five awesome things that happened at the ceremony on Friday night.
Lenny Kravitz’s musical tribute to Prince
It’s been almost a year since Prince shocked the music world by passing away suddenly last spring. Lenny Kravitz was on hand to remember his old friend with two amazing performances of "When Doves Cry" and "The Cross." He was even joined by the Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir to really help bring the tribute to life.
Pharrell honors Nile Rodgers
It’s a little weird that the Rock Hall had no problem honoring Rodgers, but didn’t feel the need to induct CHIC, who were one of the biggest names of the 1970s disco era. Regardless, that didn’t stop one of today’s biggest hitmakers in Pharrell Williams to present the Musical Excellence Award to Rodgers, who had maybe the most successful songwriting resume of anyone in the building last night.
David Letterman’s Pearl Jam Speech
The happily retired comedian was a last-minute replacement to come on and induct one of his favorite television guests over the years in Pearl Jam. Letterman lived up to all the expectations with some fun old-man humor jokes towards the fellow he had to replace in Neil Young, some shots fired at TicketMaster and even gave everyone a laugh in acknowledging the elephant in the room with all the past Pearl Jam drummers in attendance.
ELO perform their famous Chuck Berry cover
Leave it up to the incredibly underrated Electric Light Orchestra to use their induction set last night as a quick doff of the cap to honor the recently deceased Chuck Berry. The band opened their set with the familiar orchestral opening riffs to “Roll Over Beethoven” before going the famous 1956 bluesr powerhouse hit written by Berry.
Joan Baez spreads a message of loving determination
The amazing Joan Baez lived up to her reputation as one of the all time great modern folk singers and ambassadors of social justice during her speech. Inducted by Jackson Browne, the Queen of Folk took the chance to speak candidly on her experiences throughout her career on how she’s used her mic as a platform to raise awareness for others. Her speech continued in acknowledging that her work isn’t near being completed with the state of division that pollutes the world today.