The April 7 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn just had a last-minute substitution of those set to induct the honorees: Neil Young was to pay tribute to Pearl Jam but after an illness caused him to bow out, David Letterman has stepped in. Letterman’s long-time TV sidekick Paul Shaffer leads the house band at this music-filled event.
Letterman has loved the Seattle-based rockers for several decades. He first had them on his late-night talker in 1996. A decade later, the band did an unprecedented hour-long concert on the show. And lead vocalist Eddie Vedder appeared on the third-last edition of “The Late Show with David Letterman” in 2015 to sing “Better Man.”
Letterman joins the following famous folks who will pay tribute to the honorees: Jackson Browne will induct Joan Baez, Dhani Harrison will salute Electric Light Orchestra, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush will honor Yes, Pat Monahan will sing the praises of Journey, Snoop Dogg will tout Tupac Shakur and Pharrell Williams will fete Nile Rodgers. All but Yes, which had lost two previous bids, were first-time contenders for this honor.
The ceremony is overseen by Playtone and Line By Line Productions with Alex Coletti handling both helming and producing. Executive producers are Jann Wenner, Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Joel Peresman; co-executive producer is Frank Garritano; and supervising producer is Barbra Dannov. The ceremony will be broadcast on HBO on Saturday April 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
To be eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an artist must have released their first single or album at least 25 years prior to their nomination, so this year’s honorees date back to 1991 (as in the case of Pearl Jam and Shakur) or earlier.
This sextet was culled from a list of 19 nominees released in mid October. To decide the inductees, ballots were sent to more than 800 music industry insiders around the world. Fans also had a chance to weigh in with their thoughts.