December 20, 2016
by Carla Hay
Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Journey, Joan Baez, Yes and Nile Rodgers have been announced as the inductees in the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, which will take place on April 7, 2017, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Rodgers, a Grammy-winning producer and founder of Chic, will be given the Award for Musical Excellence. The rest of the artists will be inducted in the Performers category.
Ticket on-sale dates will be announced in January 2017. HBO will once again televise highlights from the ceremony on a premiere date to be announced. The show’s radio broadcast will be on SiriusXM.
A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members in advance of the public sale date. To be eligible for the member pre-sale, you must be an active Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member by December 31, 2016. Additional public ticket details and presale offers will be announced in the future.
The special exhibition on the 2017 Inductees will open at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on March 31, 2017.
Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording. The 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Performer Inductees were chosen by more than 900 voters of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, as well as the aggregate results of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s online fan vote. The top five artists from the fan vote comprised the fans’ ballot that was tallied along with the other ballots to determine the 2017 Inductees. Four of the groups from fans’ ballot (Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Pearl Jam and Yes) will be inducted.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is known for its on-stage reunions, memorable tributes and all-star jam sessions. It has not yet been announced which of the living inductees will attend, who will induct them, and who will be performing. It’s a tradition for the inductees who attend to also perform at the show. In rare cases, some inductees attend but do not perform either because of their health or for other reasons. Bands that have had feuds or several lineup changes are often at the center of speculation about who will show up for the acceptance speech and performance.
Led by singer/songwriter Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam’s only major lineup changes have been with the band’s drummers. Between 1991 and 1998, the band parted ways with four different drummers. Since 1998, the band’s current lineup has remained the same: Vedder, lead guitarist Mike McCready, rhythm guitarist Stone Gossard, bassist Mike Ament and drummer Matt Cameron.
Journey has had several lead singers since the band released its first album in 1975. Steve Perry is Journey’s most famous lead singer, since he was in the band during its heyday in the late 1970s to 1980s, when Journey had its biggest hits. Perry, who is now a solo artist, has battled health problems with his vocal cords and hip, and it is unknown at this point if he will perform at the induction ceremony. Gregg Rolie, Journey’s original lead singer, has most recently been recording and touring with Santana, his other mega-successful band from the San Francisco Bay Area. Steve Augeri was Journey’s singer from 1998 to 2007. Journey’s current lead singer, Arnel Pineda, was famously discovered on YouTube, and has been in the band since 2007. Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardist Jonathan Caine and bassist Ross Valory are longtime members of the band who have stayed in the group throughout its changing lineup of lead singers.
American folk icon Baez, whose first album was released in 1960, has been steadily performing throughout her entire career. It’s safe to assume that she will attend and perform at the ceremony.
Hip-hop star Shakur, who was shot to death in 1996 (in a murder that remains unsolved), will likely be represented by his mother, Afeni Shakur, and possibly other members of his family or business associates.
British pop/rock band ELO has had numerous lineup changes, breakups, and revivals since the group’s first album was released in 1971. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jeff Lynne has been the band’s chief architect, since he wrote and produced the band’s biggest hits. ELO co-founder Roy Wood performed only on ELO’s first album, but he is still eligible to be inducted with ELO in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, other original members of the band—such as keyboardist Richard Tandy and drummer Bev Bevan—were part of the group during ELO’s heyday in the 1970s through mid-1980s. Bevan later recorded and toured as part of the spinoff group ELO Part II, while Tandy is part of Jeff Lynne’s ELO, a group that has toured with Lynne since 2015.
Yes is another British rock band that has undergone many incarnations and revivals. Since 2015, the band’s lineup has consisted of guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes, bassist Billy Sherwood and singer Jon Davison. Bass player Chris Squire, one of the original members of Yes, died in 2015. Jon Anderson, who was in Yes off and on from 1968 to 2008, is the band’s most famous lead singer, since he sang on the group’s biggest hits. Other well-known former members of Yes are keyboardist Rick Wakeman, drummer Bill Bruford, singer/bassist Trevor Horn, and keyboardist Tony Kaye.
He first rose to fame in the late 1970s as a member of the dance/R&B group Chic. Since then, Rodgers has worked with a wide variety of artists, including Daft Punk, Duran Duran, Diana Ross and Madonna.