Lionel Richie Is Inducted Into The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame: In this case, Lionel Richie went through the roof. The voice of Pat Benatar resounded through the room. Duran Duran fumbled but never lost their cool. When it came to music, no one could touch Eminem.
Lionel Richie Is Inducted Into The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame!
The four groups all celebrated in their own unique ways on Saturday night, but they can all now say they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dolly Parton, Carly Simon, the Eurythmics, Harry Belafonte, Judas Priest, and others are also on the list of those who enthusiastically accepted the award after initially rejecting it.
After a memorable speech from a shaven-headed Robert Downey Jr., Duran Duran took the stage as the first act inducted at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and performed their 1981 smash hit “Girls on Film.”
The deafening crowd certainly was, but the music was missing in action. In fact, aside from singer Simon Le Bon, the band was virtually inaudible.
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It was a good start to what would become a polished and oftentimes triumphant show.
The 64-year-old Le Bon exclaimed, “The wonderful spontaneous world of rock ‘n’ roll!” when the band paused for a redo. They came back with full force, performing songs like “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Ordinary World,” and immediately reverted to what Downey called their “essential quality.” Simply put, “CSF” stands for “classy enjoyable.”
Several hours later, Lionel Richie opened his set with a sparse performance of his ballad “Hello,” which nearly brought him to tears from the weight of the moment.
Lenny Kravitz said of Richie in his induction speech, “His songs are the soundtrack of my life, your life, everyone’s life.” Then, after “Hello,” Richie went into “Easy,” a song that became a smash hit for him and the Commodores in 1977.
When Dave Grohl, lead singer of the Foo Fighters, dropped in unexpectedly to play a guitar solo and trade vocals with Richie, the atmosphere immediately shifted from relaxed to celebratory.
This transitioned into a celebratory sing-along of “All Night Long,” originally released in 1983, which elicited the biggest response of the evening.
In his acceptance speech, Richie blasted his critics who said he had gotten too far away from his Black heritage over the course of his career. He proclaimed, “Rock & Roll is not a color.” “It’s a sensation, man. It’s a feeling or mood. And if we allow that spirit to permeate the space, it will expand indefinitely.
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Next, the band Eurythmics performed a rousing version of their 1986 hit “Missionary Man.”
Four hours into the performance, singer Annie Lennox belted, “Well I was born an original sinner, I was born from original sin,” eliciting applause and standing ovations. They then launched into a rousing performance of “Sweet Dreams,” their most well-known song.
She was soon hailed as “one of the greatest performers, singers, and songwriters of all time” by Dave Stewart, one of her bandmates. A tearful Lennox thanked Dave for “this great adventure” and expressed his gratitude.
Eminem, as he consistently has been throughout his career, stood out. He was the only inductee whose career peaked after the 1980s and, along with Judas Priest’s heavy metal, provided the night’s only real edge.
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