On Saturday night (Nov. 5), the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted its 2022 class in grand fashion. Inductees included Dolly Parton, Eminem, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon. Judas Priest and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis are also joining the Rock Hall with the “award for musical excellence.”
And while little was known about what Eminem in particular would do to commemorate his induction — as is expected from the reserved rapper — the surprises, plural, made for an even more impactful showing.
Longtime friend and collaborator Dr. Dre had the pleasure of inducting Eminem, recalling the first time Jimmy Iovine called to let him know that Eminem was a white guy. “That completely f—-d me up,” said Dre with a laugh.
He continued to recount how nearly everyone tried to discourage him from working with the then-unknown rapper, saying no one believed or saw the vision. “I knew that his gifts were undeniable,” Dre affirmed. “Each of us was what the other one needed — and I was willing to bet my entire career on it.”
As Dre said, Eminem “brought hip-hop to middle America.” In doing so, he became one of the best-selling and most celebrated rappers in music, evidenced by the Rock Hall video montage that included clips from Adele, Elton John, Rihanna and more all praising his unmatched skills.
There was only one way to follow such a hefty induction, and that was with an even meatier performance. Em delivered just that, ripping through hits like “My Name Is,” “Forever,” “Not Afraid” and more — while also featuring unexpected guests from Steven Tyler to Ed Sheeran.
“I’m not supposed to be here tonight,” said Eminem following his set. “One, I’m a rapper; two, I almost died from an overdose; and three, I really had to fight my way through… I’m a high school drop out with a hip hop education.”
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on Nov. 19 on HBO.
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