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Parton unleashes her inner rock star, Mellencamp declares ‘freaking anti-Semitism,’ Eminem gives hip-hop history lesson at diverse Rock Hall ceremony

Parton unleashes her inner rock star, Mellencamp declares ‘freaking anti-Semitism,’ Eminem gives hip-hop history lesson at diverse Rock Hall ceremony

Dolly Parton performs at the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Microsoft Theater on November 5, 2022 in Los Angeles.  (Photo

Dolly Parton performs at the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Microsoft Theater on November 5, 2022 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)

Back in March of this year, just over a month after it was announced that Dolly Parton was among the 17 nominees on the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ballot, the 76-year-old country legend made the shocking and unprecedented announcement that “with respect” withdrawals from nominations — because she didn’t feel “worthy” of that honor. However, two-thirds of the ballots had already been sent to voters in the hall, so she remained in the race — and while Parton’s issue with her eligibility seemed to stem from her concern that she wasn’t “rock ‘n’ roll” enough, many of those voters thought otherwise. Parton was elected to the hall anyway, so when she showed up at Saturday’s induction ceremony, she wanted to make sure she was indeed eligible — announcing plans for a rock album and even debuting a new rock song.

“I’m sure many of you know that when they told me they were going to put me in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I didn’t really feel like I had done enough to deserve it and I didn’t understand that at the time,” Parton told the audience (soon after being introduced by Pink, who praised Parton’s “pure genius”). “When I always thought about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I thought it was only for people in rock and roll. And I thought, ‘Well, if I’m going to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I’m going to have to make a rock album — because my husband of 56 years is a big rock fan… and he always said, ‘You should make a rock album.’ And I thought about it a few times, but timing is everything. And then when all this came up … I thought, ‘Well, since I’m going to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’m going to write a song for tonight’ — which I’m going to sing in a minute.”

With that, Parton excused herself to change into her sequined mini dress, nearly leaving her trophy at the podium and joking, “See what this means to me? I almost forgot!” But when she returned to the stage, she was in serious rocker mode, looking like she borrowed an outfit from Judas Priest’s 2022 classmate Rob Halford. “I’m a rock star now!” she stated, rocking a figure-hugging black patent leather bell-bottom suit with metal chains. “I understand that if I’m going to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I have to earn it,” she explained.

Accompanied by Kent Wells (whom Parton said would produce her rock record) and the Zac Brown Band, Parton debuted her new rock single, the simply and aptly titled “Rockin’,” which shouted out many of the rock ‘n’ roll crowd. of architects who entered the hall through the inaugural class of ’86. “I grew up loving Elvis and wild man Jerry Lee/Chuck Berry, Little Richard/Everybody put a spell on me/Carl Perkins and those blue suede shoes had no place on the farm… I was just a kid but I went wild/For beat and beat,” she sang. “I’ve been rocking, rocking, rocking since the day I was born/I’ll ​​be rockin’ till the day I’m gone/I still got rock ‘n’ roll down in my country soul/And I’ll rock ’til the cows come home.”

“And you thought I couldn’t swing!” she joked, underscoring her statement with a Pete Townsend-like windmill flow over her electric guitar.

Parton’s Rock Hall tribute, which closed Saturday’s ceremony, also included Pink and Brandi Carlile’s duet on “Coat of Many Colors” and Sheryl Crow and Brown singing “9 to 5.” But closer to epic was the group’s number “Jolene” — certainly a bona fide rock classic, given that it’s been covered by the White Stripes, Miley Cyrus, and even post-punk/goth bands Sisters of Mercy and Strawberry Switchblade. The all-star performance featured Brown, Carlile, Crow and fellow 2022 Eurythmics (with Annie Lennox in a red cowboy hat), Pat Benatar, Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon and Halford. (Halford seemed particularly thrilled to share the stage with Parton, beaming as he hugged the country legend.) “It was entertainment!” Parton gushed with delight, hardly looking like the artist she had just announced she was retires from the tour.

Dolly Parton and Rob Halford perform on stage during the 37th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Microsoft Theater on November 5, 2022 in Los Angeles.  (Photo: Amy Sussman/WireImage)

Dolly Parton and Rob Halford perform on stage during the 37th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Microsoft Theater on November 5, 2022 in Los Angeles. (Photo: Amy Sussman/WireImage)

“We have a stage full of stars! I feel like a hillbilly in the city,” Parton giggled. Earlier, during her acceptance speech, she asked the A-list crowd: “Each of you rock stars will help me in [my rock album]? Well, good – because I’ll hold you to it!” Surely all who shared the stage with her Sabbath would be eager to volunteer their services.

Saturday’s ceremony featured other surprise guests, including Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Ed Sheeran accompanying Class of 2022 graduate Eminem on the “Dream On”-interpolating “Sing for the Moment” and “Stan,” respectively; Sara Bareilles sings “Nobody Does It Better” and Olivia Rodrigo does “You’re So Vain” in honor of newbie Carly Simon, who skipped the event because she’s grieving the recent deaths of her two sisters; Dave Grohl, who joined his new friend Lionel Richie for a Faith No More-esque rendition of the Commodores’ “Easy”; and Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, who played “one last one for the Killer” and paid tribute to the late Jerry Lee Lewis with “High School Confidential” and “Great Balls of Fire.”

Inductees Lionel Richie and Dave Grohl perform on stage during the 37th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  (Photo by Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Inductees Lionel Richie and Dave Grohl perform on stage during the 37th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (Photo by Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Although many of the speeches, including apparently Parton’s, were lighthearted and fun, there were also more serious moments on the podium. The night began on a somber note with Duran Duran announcing that their original guitarist, Andy Taylor, was unable to attend the ceremony as he is battling stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. Later, Richie got a little political during his speech, recalling times in his career when people in the industry told him he was “not black enough” and stating, “Rock ‘n’ roll is not a color. It’s a feeling. That’s the vibe.”

And when Mellencamp presented high-powered entertainment attorney Allen Grubman with the industry-focused Ahmet Ertegun Award, he mentioned that Grubman is Jewish and said, “I am a Gentile whose life has enriched countless Jews. … Guys, I can’t tell you how fucking important it is to speak out, if you’re an artist, against anti-Semitism, against all forms of bigotry, all forms of hatred. Whenever you hear hate speech, whenever you hear someone talking bad about someone else, we are all human beings. I don’t care if you’re Jewish, black, white, tutti-frutti. I do not care. Here’s the trick: silence is complicity. Can I repeat that? Silence is complicity. I want to say that I stand here tonight loud and proud, and in solidarity with Allen, his family and all my Jewish friends and all the Jewish people of the world. Fuck anti-Semitism and fuck anyone who says anything like that.”

John Mellencamp, next to a photo by Allen Grubman, speaks on stage during the 37th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  (Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

John Mellencamp, next to a photo by Allen Grubman, speaks on stage during the 37th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

On the bright side, perhaps the funniest line of the night came when Priest’s Halford introduced himself with “Hi, I’m the gay guy in the band,” or when Robert Downey Jr., who surprisingly introduced Duran Duran, recalled the “Surreal Moment” at his 50 . a birthday party when Duran Duran “played a short set and I kid you not, halfway through ‘Rio,’ the wife of a prominent Hollywood director tore off her bra and threw it on stage.” But the funniest speech of the whole had to be Eminem’s, who — after mentioning his near-fatal overdose in 2007 and instructing his daughter Hailie in the audience to “cover your ears,” as he admitted, “Drugs were fucking delicious” — continued is to spend at least three solid breathless minutes rattling off a long, alphabetical list of rap artists who have inspired him, from 2 Live Crew and 3rd Bass to the Wu-Tang Clan. “I know this induction is supposed to be me, like, talking about myself and shit, but f*ck it,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here without them. I dropped out of high school with a hip-hop education, and these are my professors, and this is their night as much as mine.” (In a related funny but far less modest moment, Dr. Dre, who introduced Eminem, claimed that Eminem wanted Dre to mention that Eminem had a “huge cock.”)

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2022 included Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (inducted by Sheryl Crow), Duran Duran, Eminem, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie (inducted by Lenny Kravitz), Carly Simon (inducted by Sara Bareilles), and the Eurythmics , who were induced by U2’s The Edge and gave the most fiery performance of the night with “Would I Lie to You”, “Missionary Man” and “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. The award for musical excellence went to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (inducted by Janet Jackson) and Judas Priest (inducted by Alice Cooper). Along with Grubman, Sylvia Robinson and Jimmy Iovine also received the Ahmet Ertegun Award, presented to the latter by Springsteen. The Early Influence Award went to Harry Belafonte and Elizabeth Cotten.

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics perform on stage during the 37th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics perform on stage during the 37th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)

The 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on November 5 at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater — the first time the event has been held in LA since 2011. The show will air on HBO on November 19.

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