CLEVELAND - It was quite the party at the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday night.
Guests began hitting the red carpet at 5:30 p.m. for the ceremony, which was back in Cleveland.
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After a long wait, the Moody Blues have moved into rock's rarest room.
The influential progressive rock group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, ushered in by Heart's Ann Wilson, who said the band "took me from childhood to adulthood as a disciple."
The Moody Blues were ahead of their time, cutting edge. Their concept album "Days of Future Passed" is considered a classic and includes the hit "Nights In White Satin."
Grounded in blues, they blended orchestral sounds into standard songs without missing a beat. Wilson reminded the sellout crowd at the Public Auditorium that the band never strayed far from its roots, saying, "the Moody Blues have always been a kick-ass rock band."
Their die-hard fans pushed for years for them to be nominated, citing their influence on bands like Yes, Genesis and Rush — all Hall of Famers.
Justin Hayward, the band's lead vocalist, guitarist and composer, said the band is honored to be "in the home of our heroes."
Soul singer Nina Simone, who raised awareness with a dazzling voice during the civil rights movement, is rock and roll royalty.
Simone was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday night by R&B superstar Mary J. Blige, who described her as "bold, strong, feisty and fearless and so vulnerable and transparent at the same time."
A classically-trained pianist, Simone is often referred to as "The High Priestess of Soul." She influenced countless musicians, including hip-hop artists Jay-Z, Kanye West and others who first discovered her from a 2015 Oscar-nominated documentary.
Blige feels a deep connection to Simone and said the women share an ability to ease people's pain and "help people heal. We help people get through."
Simone died in 2003. Her brother, Jon Wayman, accepted the enshrinement trophy on her behalf.
The Cars have pulled into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The pioneering new wave band, which crafted catchy pop songs into Top 40 hits, was inducted Saturday by Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers. Flowers recalled the first time he heard The Cars while growing up in a tiny, "no stoplight" town in Utah, saying "40 years later they still sound like a new band to me."
Founded in Boston, The Cars had a strong connection to Cleveland, the hometown of late bassist Benjamin Orr, who sang lead vocals on some the band's biggest hits like "Just What I Needed," ''Bye Bye Love" and "Drive."
Orr died in 2000, but each of the band members acknowledged his impact, with lead singer Ric Ocasek saying "it feels strange being up here without him."
Overlooked but never unappreciated, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is finally a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer.
An inspiration to musicians from Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash, Tharpe was called "the godmother of rock and roll" Saturday night by Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard, who inducted one her biggest influences.
Playing electric guitar and singing gospel songs, Tharpe became a major star in the 1940s. She was the one who put a 14-year-old Little Richard Penniman on stage for the first time, and Little Richard's life was never the same.
Tharpe died in 1973 at the age of 58, but her music lives on and is being appreciated by a new generation just learning of her legacy.
Dire Straits went into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame without its leader.
Lead singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler skipped Saturday's ceremony and his absence was a major disappointment to fans of the band, which was influenced by blues, country, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.
Founded in London while punk music was exploding, Dire Straits created a unique sound and had a string of radio hits in the 1970s and 1980s, including "Sultans Of Swing" and "Money For Nothing," a song that captured how MTV re-shaped the music industry.
Bassist John Illsley acknowledged the awkwardness of Knopfler not being present and then took a subtle swipe at his bandmate and close friend by saying, "it's more than one person, a collective."
Illsley did compliment Knopfler for writing music that made the band "stand out from the crowd."
Bon Jovi, one of New Jersey's finest musical exports since Bruce Springsteen, is now a Hall of Fame act.
Emerging as one of the top groups from the "hair band" era of the 1980s, the group led by singer Jon Bon Jovi, was enshrined Saturday before a sellout crowd familiar with all of its iconic anthems.
Radio superstar Howard Stern inducted the band with an irreverent, profanity-laced speech and also led the crowd in singing "Wanted Dead Or Alive," one of Bon Jovi's biggest hits that helped them sell 130 million albums.
During a 20-minute speech, Jon Bon Jovi recounted the band's rise to superstardom from basements to sold-out arenas.
Then, with former guitarist Richie Sambora reuniting for the event, the band ripped into "You Give Love A Bad Name."