NEW YORK–Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks and a quintet of British bands were honored with induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The rock bands — Def Leppard, Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies — represent a variety of styles and eras.
As Janelle Monae entered the stage to induct Janet Jackson, she took in a deep breath before she honored one of her personal heroes.
“I’m here tonight to induct the legendary queen of Black Girl Magic into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Monae said.
Monae said watching Jackson on her TV was refreshing because she saw someone “who looked like me.” She went on to call Jackson “our fearless leader,” ”a bold visionary,” ”a rule breaker,” ”a risk taker” and “a boundless visual artist.”
Monae said a Jackson photo was the screen saver on her cell phone for several years and she even wore an outfit like Jackson’s all-black ensemble from “Rhythm Nation” at the induction ceremony.
Monae said Jackson “gave me the confidence to embrace all of me” while she worked on her personal and revealing album, “Dirty Computer.”
Jackson issued her challenge just before leaving the stage of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” she said, “in 2020, induct more women.”
The Cure’s Robert Smith’s kept his Rock and Roll Hall of fame induction speech short, and wished that it could have even bit a bit shorter.
“Where is my wrap it up sign, I need my wrap it up sign!” he joked on stage.
Smith was joined by past and present bandmates, alluding to the group’s revolving door of band members by noting they helped “for better or for worse.”
He closed his speech in tribute to the people they want to thank the most — the fans.
“I’d like to thank all the fans, everyone’s who bought a record…,” Smith said before a fan loudly yelled to the band at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“We love you, too,” Smith said with a smile on his face.
Smith said he wanted to use the rest of his time onstage to play some music. The post-punk innovators went on to perform a number of songs, including “Lovesong,” which Adele famously covered on her best-selling “21” album.
Trent Reznor inducted the Cure, who were last nominated for the Rock Hall in 2012. The band made it into the Hall with their second-ever nomination.
Roxy Music, one of the five English acts to make up the Rock and Roll of Fame’s 2019 class, treated the audience with a mini concert after their induction.
The band performed five songs at the event, playing the songs “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” ”Out of the Blue,” ”Love is the Drug,” ”More Than This,” ”Avalon” and “Editions of You.”
Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Eddie Jobson accepted the honor at the Barclays Center on Friday night. Brian Eno and Paul Thompson didn’t attend. Graham Simpson, who died in 2012, was also inducted.
Roxy Music were inducted by John Taylor and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran.
Radiohead and Janet Jackson were two of the inductees who didn’t plan to perform at the ceremony.
Stevie Nicks is encouraging women in groups or bands to break away to record solo music — so they have a chance at being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Nicks became the first woman to be inducted into the Hall for a second time at the organization’s 2019 ceremony Friday night. She was originally inducted as a member of Fleetwood Mac.
She told female musicians in groups they shouldn’t break up their bands, but to break away “just to do an album.”
Nicks says she knows female musicians will achieve the Rock Hall feat she accomplished because she’s “going to give you all the directions.”
She says, “What I am doing is opening up the door for other women.”
The entire band didn’t make it to their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but the two members or Radiohead who did were emotional when they accepted the honor Friday night.
There was some doubt whether anyone from the band would even show up given their past ambivalence about the Rock Hall. But Philip Selway called the moment a proud one for the band and said he didn’t take the induction for granted.
Ed O’Brien said he wished the rest of his bandmates could be with him and thanked them for the magic they made over three decades.
He also thanked the fans and anyone who had ever been touched by their music.
Radiohead also includes Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Colin Greenwood.
The Zombies, from rock ‘n’ roll’s original British invasion, were the veterans of the night. They made it despite being passed over in the past, but were gracious in their thanks of the rock hall. They performed hits “Time of the Season,” ”Tell Her No” and “She’s Not There.”
Zombies lead singer Rod Argent noted that the group had been eligible for the hall for 30 years but the honor had eluded them.
“To have finally passed the winning post this time — fantastic!”