Dolly Parton and Eminem inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The two artists, whose work couldn't be more disparate, are among the most eclectic group of musicians honoured by the organisation in years

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Dolly Parton led a supergroup in a rousing rendition of Jolene as Eminem brought the entire room to its feet at Saturday's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame gala, which inducted its most eclectic group of artists in years in an ode to rock's spirit.

The country music queen and the rap agitator were joined by pop futurists Eurythmics, smooth rocker Lionel Richie, confessional lyricist Carly Simon and enduring rock duo Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo in entering the music pantheon.

"I'm a rock star now!" yelped Parton as she took the stage, fists in the air.

The singer, 76, had tried to decline the prestigious honour because she didn't feel rock enough — "I didn't understand at the time that it's about a little more than that," she said.

Artists including Pink and Brandi Carlile gathered to perform Dolly classics including 9 to 5, before Parton returned to the stage in a stunning body-con outfit dripping in chains.

She then performed her new rock song, which included a mean solo that she played on a crystal-encrusted electric guitar.

"I've still got rock and roll down in my country soul / and I'll be rockin' it til the cows come home," she belted out.

Eminem delivered a blend of hits old and new, after one of music's master provocateurs walked out to the quintessential My Name Is.

His loyal mentor Dr Dre inducted the artist behind The Marshall Mathers LP — one of the bestselling albums of all time — who gained the hall's coveted recognition in his first year of eligibility.

The superstar has built a massive career off his blistering flow and lyrical talent, but at times has fuelled it with eyebrow-raising controversy.

Eminem invited none other than Steven Tyler to perform Sing for the Moment, which samples his band Aerosmith's track Dream On, and Ed Sheeran made a surprise appearance to sing Dido's Thank You sample in Stan.

The rapper, 50, then donned his glasses to read his acceptance speech, touching on the obstacles he has overcome, including a troubled childhood and addiction.

But he spent most of his time at the podium thanking dozens of fellow rappers.

"They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well it took a whole genre and culture to raise me," he said. "I'm a high-school dropout, man, with a hip-hop education, and these are my teachers.

"And it's their night just as much as it is mine."

For the 2022 class, the hallowed institution continued to bring rappers, pop, RnB and country music stars into its fold.

"Rock and roll is not a colour, it is a feeling, it is a vibe," said Richie to a chorus of cheers.

"If we let that vibe come through, this room will grow and grow."

Richie's show-stopping performance included a sing-off with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who offered guitar riffs to accompany the classic Easy (Like Sunday Morning).

Synth-pop pioneers Eurythmics — the duo made up of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart — also took their place among rock's greatest, but not before delivering a performance that included their classic Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).

And Duran Duran met the moment with a best-of medley including Girls on Film and Hungry Like the Wolf.

But the British group also held a sombre moment for former member Andy Taylor. Frontman Simon Le Bon read a letter written by the guitarist that revealed he had been struggling with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer for years.

But Taylor said he was "sure as hell glad I'm around to see the day" that the hitmakers made it into the rock hall.

Carly Simon, known for her deeply personal songwriting, was inducted by Sara Bareilles but unable to attend, as two of her sisters recently both died of cancer.

"One of the greatest things about music," Simon said in a message read by Bareilles, "is its uncanny knack for making physical art out of formless emotions like joy and pain."

Pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo then took to the stage to perform Simon's seminal 1970s hit You're So Vain, as the audience, including Carlile and LL Cool J, bobbed their heads and sang along.

Inducted by Sheryl Crow, Benatar and Giraldo delivered a heart-thumping rendition of their top songs including Love is a Battlefield and Heartbreaker.

And none other than Bruce Springsteen, who attended on Saturday to give a special induction to master producer Jimmy Iovine, took to the stage to perform alongside John Mellencamp in honour of the late Jerry Lee Lewis.

The Boss slayed a fiery guitar solo as the band delivered a rollicking version of the original hall of famer's Great Balls of Fire.

Updated: November 06, 2022, 12:34 PM