Genre-bending acts Radiohead and The Cure led a British invasion into Brooklyn Friday night to take their spots in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, while pop icon Janet Jackson entered the shrine in an induction many industry insiders consider long overdue.
American folk rock legend Stevie Nicks became the first woman inducted twice – having already earned a spot in the rock pantheon as a member of band Fleetwood Mac – during a gala concert at New York’s Barclays Center in Brooklyn to celebrate the seven 2019 honorees.
Heavy metal group Def Leppard, pop experimentalists Roxy Music and English psychedelic rock harmonists The Zombies rounded out the five-strong class of British inductees.
The inclusion of Jackson — whose socially conscious, sexually provocative and eminently danceable tracks made her a household name in the 1980’s – comes as the Hall of Fame increasingly expands its definition of rock to include the likes of R&B.
She joins The Jackson 5 and her brother Michael in the Cleveland-based rock shrine, which has refused to remove the late pop king from its honored artist list despite pressure over a documentary reviving pedophilia accusations against him.
Jackson declined to perform at the event, an unusual move some US reports owed to the fact that it would be broadcast on HBO, the network which aired the documentary about her brother, “Surviving Neverland.”
Citing Jackson’s “legendary black girl magic,” pop futurist Janelle Monae inducted the 52-year-old superstar who spearheaded the creation of New Jack Swing.
Her synth-driven sound came to define the cutting edge of New York’s club scene in the late 1980’s.
Jackson steered clear of Michael discussions but noted her family’s “extraordinary impact on popular culture,” saying that as the youngest she “was determined to make it on my own.”
“Tonight your baby sister has made it,” she said, telling the Hall: “2020, induct more women!”
British sensation Harry Styles inducted Stevie Nicks – whose poetic vocals and bewitching stage presence have made her an inter-generational rock legend.
She opened the show with a performance of “Stand Back,” wearing her original shawl from the video and twirling to show off its shimmering gold fringe.
Speaking to journalists backstage, Nicks, 70, voiced hope that as the first woman twice inducted she was “opening up the door for other women, to go like, ‘Hey man, I can do it.’”
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