The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 2022 induction ceremony was, according to award presenter Pink, “one of the most magical nights I’ve ever witnessed.” And the Nov. 5 show (to be telecast Nov. 19 on HBO Max) may rank as the most eclectic yet, a cavalcade of genres from hip-hop to heavy metal. The inducted ones: Pat Benatar (69) and Neil Giraldo (66), Dolly Parton (76), Eurythmics, Duran Duran, Judas Priest, Lionel Richie (73), Eminem (50), Jimmy Jam (63), Terry Lewis (65) and Carly Simon (69). Harry Belafonte (95) and the late Elizabeth Cotten got the Early Influence Award. Here are the highlights of rock’s big evening — watch for them in the telecast:
And the biggest winner is ...
The top-billed, most rapturously greeted honoree, Dolly Parton, was extolled by the evening’s most valuable player, Pink, who brought ease and conviction to her celebration of the country queen. She was so unselfconscious and confident that when she and Brandi Carlile slightly muffed a vocal handoff in an otherwise exquisitely sensitive rendition of Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors,” a highlight of the show, they played it off with a laughing, comradely hug. “I guess I’m a rock star now,” said Parton, and proved it, delivering her new tune “Rockin’” in an outfit of one color: black.
Lionel Richie refused to be pigeonholed
After being touted by a sunglassed Lenny Kravitz, Lionel Richie pointed out in his acceptance that most of his hits were songs that advisers warned would end his career. He expressed the lingering resentment he bears toward people who admonished him early on that his approach wasn’t “Black” enough. “Rock ’n’ roll is not a color, it is a feeling,” he said, and launched into an impeccably performed, Vegas-worthy set that produced a formidable dancing outbreak with his exuberant 1983 hit “All Night Long,” followed by a duet with Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl (53) on the Commodores’ 1977 song “Easy.”
We wouldn’t lie to you — Eurythmics rocked the house
Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart (70) and Annie Lennox (67) felt like the most catalyzing of all the performers. Stewart recapped the duo’s scuffling early days by proclaiming, “Our art personas were protected by the armor of our art.” Now a famous and famously generous-minded producer, he directed praise and thanks to Lennox, and in a ripping if brief set, she shimmied, stalked the stage and belted out “Would I Lie to You?,” “Missionary Man” and their breakout smash “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” The response was ecstatic.