During this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Bruce Springsteen is set to induct U2, whose frontman Bono inducted him in 1999. Other inductors will include Justin Timberlake, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, B.B. King and Eric Clapton.
Boy-band star turned R&B artist, Timberlake will induct soul group the O’Jays. Stars of the Philadelphia soul scene, small-town Ohio’s O’Jays hit Number One in 1972 with “Love Train,” scoring nine Top Forty hits by the end of the decade. 1994 inductee Stewart will introduce soul singer Percy Sledge, best known for his 1966 classic “When a Man Loves a Woman.”
1995 Hall of Famer Young will welcome British New Wavers the Pretenders, who had a string of Top Forty hits in the Eighties and early Nineties, such as “Back on the Chain Gang” and “I’ll Stand By You.” King and Clapton will together honor Chicago blues guitarist Buddy Guy, who Clapton has dubbed his favorite guitarist of all time.
During his passionate induction of Springsteen six years ago, Bono said, “Bruce has played every bar in the U.S.A., and every stadium. Credibility — you couldn’t have more, unless you were dead . . . He created an alternative mythology, one where ordinary lives became extraordinary and heroic . . . Here was a dude who carried himself like Brando and Dylan and Elvis . . . They call him the Boss — well, that’s a bunch of crap. He’s not the boss. He works for us.”
Springsteen himself dedicated the honor to his parents, who were then recently deceased. “I have to thank [my father], because what would I conceivably have written about without him? I mean, you gotta imagine: if everything had gone great between us, it would have been a disaster. I would have written just happy songs.” This year, Bono may do the same, as his father, who passed away in 2001, is the contentious character at the heart of U2’s new single, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own.”
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, which will also mark the institution’s twentieth anniversary, will be held on March 14th at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.