Bon Jovi, Nina Simone, Moody Blues make it into Rock Hall

Danny Woods
April 16, 2018

CLEVELAND Bon Jovi reunited with former members Richie Sambora and Alec John Such for a powerful performance on Saturday night as the band earned a spot in the prestigious Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

"We took that journey together at certain times as a group, and I think it's wonderful we can re-enact that - not only for us, but for the fans", said Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan back in February. Following these speeches, the group took to the stage to perform this long-awaited reunion, which also included an appearance from Alec John Such for the first time since 2001, after leaving the group in 1994.

Jon Bon Jovi began: "I've been writing this speech since I first strummed the broom and sang at the top of the stairs of my childhood home". "You're at a Bon Jovi concert".

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.

The King of All Media, who labored all week on his speech inducting Bon Jovi into the Rock Hall, was his usual unflinching, no-filter self. "I said "I'm doing great, this is awesome".

With her confident stage presence and distortion on her guitar, Tharpe took gospel music to new audiences in the 1930s and 1940s, helping set the stage for rock "n" roll after World War II.

Tharpe will be inducted by Brittany Howard, of Alabama Shakes. Mary J. Blige will induct Simone, who died in 2003.

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"When the band first started, Ben was supposed to be the lead singer".

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.

The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek joked he was supposed to be the good looking guy in the band, not Orr. "It's a bit weird, but life's odd", he said. The fellow Seattle artists paid tribute to their friend, who died in 2017, with a powerful performance of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun". "She knew who she was, and she was confident", Blige said.

HBO will air a special with highlights from the Rock Hall induction at 8 p.m. ET on May 5.

Overall, while this year's Induction Ceremony didn't have the star power of previous evenings held in Cleveland, the high-profile event had its moments.

Rock Hall voters have recently opened their hearts to progressive rockers, which benefited "Nights in White Satin" singers The Moody Blues, to be inducted by Ann Wilson of Heart.

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