Janet Jackson and Stevie Nicks were both inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday night. With Nicks as the first woman to be inducted twice and Jackson finally able to share the honors alongside her brothers, both took the opportunity to call for more representation of female artists. “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 2020, induct more women,” said Jackson. Nicks, who had previously been inducted with Fleetwood Mac, spoke of “opening up the door for other women.” The Cure, Radiohead, Def Leppard, Roxy Music, and the Zombies were also inducted into the ranks of the greatest and most influential musicians of all time.
The Induction Ceremony took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Jackson reportedly declined to perform at the event due to the fact that it will be airing on HBO at the end of the month, though Variety said that neither she nor HBO have commented on the matter. The network has been under fire from Jackson family for releasing Leaving Neverland. As a family, they issued a statement at the end of January that described the documentary as a “public lynching” of an easy target, “a one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself.”
Janelle Monáe attended the induction ceremony wearing a black-leather-and-chains outfit reminiscent of Rhythm Nation. In her speech introducing the legend, Monáe recalled being introduced to Jackson through a clip that her mother showed her. “[I] saw this resplendent, assertive, talented girl with an afro puff on the top of her head. And it was just so refreshing to see someone who looked like me and millions of other little black girls around the world.” Monáe shared how the iconic Jackson inspires fans across the globe in more than just music, earning her rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “We celebrate you for fighting for women’s rights. We celebrate you for going high when they go low. We celebrate you for being an ally to the LGBTQIA+ communities and marginalized voices around the world… History is not complete without you, Janet.”
In her acceptance speech, Jackson spoke of wanting to be a lawyer when she was a kid, not a singer. “[My father] wanted me to become this wonderful performer, he encouraged me. He was the first to encourage me and music became my passion.”
HBO subscribers will be able to watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday April 27th at 8pm Eastern Time.