2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony highs and lows

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Peyton Beverwyk

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees including Dolly Parton and Lionel Richie

From a Dolly Parton super jam to a roaring medley of Eminem’s biggest hits, plus stellar performances from Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, and much more. The 2022 class included Dolly Parton, Eminem, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon. Judas Priest and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis also joined the Rock Hall with the “award for musical excellence.” Here are the highs and lows of the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. 

High: “Dream On” performance with Eminem and Steven Tyler

   Eminem featuring on this song adds a different perspective to the classic rock and roll song. Eminem and Steven Tyler. The duo we didn’t know we needed. Having Tyler come out to sing was like the official stamp on being in the Hall of Fame. Eminem even smiled so you know it’s special. What makes Eminem great is his ability to switch styles easily from comic to aggressive to narrative to confessional. Most rappers have one style of delivery. Eminem does them all. 

Low: Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp performance

   This performance was none other than trash. The highly famed song “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis, prominently featured in the movie Top Gun franchise, was sung by Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp and it was just boring. There is no hype like there was in the movie. The performance was low energy compared to the fizzling and shared spirit of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” that preceded it. Mellencamp barely even sang; he just stood more and only sang for a mere 30 seconds. Many were expecting more from this performance and that sadly didn’t become a reality. 

High: Olivia Rodrigo’s “You’re So Vain” performance

   New upcoming artist Olivia Rodrigo performs Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” with help from guitarist Jimmy Ryan. Rodrigo stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park. This was supposed to be a duet with Alanis Morissette, but Morissette canceled at the last minute. So this young woman stood up in front of the RRHOF and delivered an absolutely incredible version of a legendary performer’s signature song. People love to hate on her voice but don’t realize that she’s been vocally trained since she was young. She has the potential to be a great vocalist of her generation. What was great about this version is she just sang it straight. There were no silly flourishes at all. You don’t mess with a classic. 

Low: Eminem’s rapper list

   During Eminem’s speech, he didn’t talk about himself much, but mentioned a lot of names of rappers who influenced him. There were so many people he listed off it just got so boring. He’s an incredibly huge influence, and he’s shouting out “just a few” of his idols and it took him like two days to get through it. 

High: Dolly Parton debuts new music

   “If I’m gonna be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’m gonna have to earn it!” Dolly Parton said. She already has 24 plus songs written for a four-vinyl album. She is ready to drop an epic rock and roll opus, and wrote a special song just for being inducted into the RRHOF. After denying her first offer of being inducted to the RRHOF, she accepted this nomination, wrote a song about it, and showed up looking like the ultimate rocker chic. Parton is the first artist who says they shouldn’t be in the RRHOF because she doesn’t sing rock and roll. She is truly a humbled woman. Then she makes a rock and roll song to make it legit and totally rocks the house. She is a living legend. 

High: Eminem’s speech

   This was undoubtedly the absolute most humble acceptance speech ever, and it’s no surprise that Eminem would be so grateful to biguppin’ real rappers and not these lazy textbook rhymers that the world has fallen in love with today. It’s delightful to see him performing his biggest hits as a legend on RRHOF. Especially when he talks about his overdose and Hailie, who is an adult standing just right there, watching her father being inducted, really a remarkable moment. He used this moment to thank his influences and give them the props for where he is. There is grace and strength within him that we all have benefited from listening to him. He dedicated his speech to all those that came before him and those he sees as icons and idols. He really is a class act. “These are my teachers, and it’s their night as much as it is mine.” Eminem remains humble. 

Low: Robert Downey Jr. goes bald

    What happened here? The Iron Man star, who is normally recognizable for his short spiky hair, now looks remarkably different. This shocking stunt pulled by Jr. amazed the crowd during his speech when introducing Duran Duran. Turns out he was tired of wearing a bald cap for his role on HBO’s Sympathizer, Jr. shaves his head with a little help from his son. Many who didn’t see his new look at the Governor’s Ball were genuinely surprised at the induction ceremony. Many didn’t recognize him during his speech. He honestly looks like Lex Luthor from the DC Universe or even going as far as Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.