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Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson Were Inducted Into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
The 34th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held at New York’s Barclays Center Friday night, ushering the latest class of honorees into the fast-fading boomer rock institution. Long criticized for inducting disproportionately white and largely male musical acts, two of the Rock Hall’s biggest-name honorees this year were Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson. But the Hall of Fame otherwise stuck with its usual brand of guitar rockers, and a quintet of British bands—The Zombies, the Cure, Roxy Music, Def Leppard, and Radiohead—completed the list of 2019 honorees.
Nicks, already a member of the Hall of Fame for her work with Fleetwood Mac, became the first woman to be inducted twice, after gaining entry this year for her solo work. “What I am doing is opening up the door for other women to go, like, ‘Hey man, I can do it,'” said Nicks during her speech.
She was introduced by her protégée Harry Styles, who also joined her onstage to perform Tom Petty’s part in “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.”
“She is everything you have ever wanted in a lady, in a lover, and in a friend,” Styles said of Nicks. “Stephanie Nicks, I love you, we all do, and that is true, Stevie.”
Nicks, for her part, couldn’t quite remember what boy band her young pal hailed from. In a moment that perfectly illustrated why the world stans Stevie Nicks so hard in 2019, she briefly claimed that the 25-year-old Styles was a member of NSYNC—a group that’s been defunct since 2002.
“When he decided to make a solo record from NSYNC…” she said of Styles, to titters from the crowd. “Sorry, not NSYNC—I’m never going to live that one down, I know.”
With some help from the audience, Nicks soon remembered that Styles was a member of One Direction.
Unlike her fellow inductees, Janet Jackson did not perform. Variety reports that she refused to take the stage because the ceremony was being filmed for future broadcast on HBO, the network behind the documentary Leaving Neverland. Michael Jackson’s estate has sued the broadcaster over the film, which features interviews with two men who accuse the pop star of sexually assaulting them when they were children.
Jackson was introduced by Janelle Monae, who called the singer “the legendary queen of black girl magic.” After thanking her family and collaborators, Jackson ended her remarks with a directive to the institution honoring her. “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame please, 2020,” she said. “Induct more women.”
Harry Styles presented Stevie Nicks at Friday’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Dimitrios KambourisGetty Images
Jackson wasn’t alone in criticizing the Hall of Fame; members of Radiohead have been vocal in their disdain for the institution. Guitarist Ed O’Brien told Esquire.com in 2017 that the Hall is a “little bit thin on black artists and hip-hop artists,” and Jonny Greenwood bluntly told Rolling Stone that he didn’t care whether or not they were honored. Of the five-piece band, only O’Brien and drummer Philip Selway attended Friday’s ceremony.
Trent Reznor tackled his previous criticism of the Hall of Fame head on in his heartfelt introduction to inductees The Cure. “I think it’s only right for me to admit that I’ve been, let’s say, ambivalent about the existence of certain award ceremonies,” said Reznor. “In fact, I remember distinctly saying to myself, among other things, how can I even take this awards ceremony seriously if they’ll open their doors to X, Y and Z and not acknowledge the Cure? Not so long ago I get a phone call I wasn’t expecting, and, well, here we are. Let’s just say I’ve never been as happy to eat my words as I was tonight.”