The 31st annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened with David Byrne, Kimbra and the Roots paying a heartfelt and arty tribute to David Bowie by performing “Fame.” The ensemble kicked into the funky groove as the legendary white-haired Talking Head, dressed in a suit with sparkly lapels, started things off. Then Kimbra, dressed in a sparkly dress, took over, shouting lyrics, before they coalesced into harmony and Questlove coolly rocked his Afro to the beat. It ended with a projected photo of the Thin White Duke, in a broad-brimmed hat mugging at the audience, before they departed the stage for the ceremony’s opening montage.
Last month, the Roots’ Questlove, Bilal and Kimbra pulled out of tribute concerts taking place at at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall in New York. “We have patience. But we do NOT have patience for the #Bitchassness,” Questlove wrote on Instagram, alluding to the incident. “Enjoy your precious equipment.” So this performance seemed like a proper way to make up for that earlier, last-minute cancellation.
Additional reporting by Kory Grow
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It was Byrne who inducted Bowie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Watch his speech below.