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Pearl Jam, Tupac, Yes, Journey to be inducted into Rock Hall

Pearl Jam, Tupac, Yes, Journey to be inducted into Rock Hall

Folk icon and social justice activist Joan Baez, string-augmented rock hitmakers Electric Light Orchestra, arena rock titans Journey, grunge pioneers Pearl Jam, West Coast rap god Tupac and prog-rock progenitors Yes all entered the Hall's ranks.

Young released "Rockin' in the Free World", a critique of the first George Bush administration, on the Freedom album in 1989. The band had been a staple on his CBS Late Show since 1996, when they made their debut performing the No Code tune "Hail, Hail".

"I can't begin to tell you what an honor and a privilege it is for me to be out of the house", he said.

Letterman certainly didn't hold back with the Pearl Jam jokes at the ceremony.

His wife, Jill, was teary-eyed in the audience as fans continued to cheer.

Eddie Vedder took the mic last and immediately jumped into a cause, and an important one at that.

In his speech, Eddie also gave a shout-out to his wife, former fashion model Jill McCormick, who suffered through the latter part of his high-risk rock star years.

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Portraying Tupac as more complicated than caricatures, Snoop Dogg said: "To be human is to be many things at once - strong and vulnerable, hard-headed and intellectual, courageous and afraid, loving and vengeful, revolutionary and, oh yeah... gangsta!" Snoop Dogg accepted on behalf of Tupac, calling him the greatest rapper ever.

Letterman's speech was arguably the highlight of the night, one filled with revelations about how much he has missed hearing live music nightly since retiring, and that time he drove Vedder insane by repeatedly singing the chorus to "Black". Instead, Arnel Pineda sang lead as the band performed their hits, including "Don't Stop Believin'".

Guitarist Neal Schon was inducted along with fellow co-founding members Gregg Rolie and Ross Valory, as well as Steve Smith (their current drummer, he also served stints in 1978-85 and 1995-98), Aynsley Dunbar (1974-78) and Perry (1978-98). He thanked all of those "who came before us", but said that humanity has "a lot of growing to do".

The 76-year-old Baez was a leading protest singer during the 1960s. "My granddaughter had no idea who I was until I took her backstage at a Taylor Swift concert, and then I got respect from her".

For more information: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"It was 49 years ago tonight I met Chris Squire at a bar", singer Jon Anderson said of the band's founding bass player, who died in 2015.

Besides the induction ceremony Friday night at Barclays Center, Lenny Kravitz will pay tribute to Prince. Additionally, disco pioneer and super producer Nile Rodgers received the Award for Musical Excellence.

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