Ahmet Ertegun Awards went to the Beatles‘ late manager Brian Epstein and original Rolling Stones manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham. The Award for Musical Excellence — formerly known as the Side-Men category — was presented to the E Street Band, who were inducted by Bruce Springsteen.
Glenn Frey — who got his major break as apart of Linda Ronstadt’s backing band — saluted her at the ceremony. Ronstadt did not attend the event, but a show-stopping tribute of her best-loved songs was performed by Stevie Nicks, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, and Bonnie Raitt. Questlove of the Roots saluted Hall & Oates. Surprise inductor Art Garfunkel paid tribute to Cat Stevens, and Peter Asher, of Peter & Gordon and record production fame, did the honors for his friends, Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham — who also was a no show at last night’s event.
Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello, inducted Kiss, who surprisingly were all on their best behavior and spoke respectfully — and at times even lovingly — towards each other as they recalled their early years. The evening’s closest thing to a celebrity roast was Coldplay‘s Chris Martin‘s induction of Peter Gabriel. R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe inducted Nirvana — who closed the celebrations by reforming with three women fronting the band — Joan Jett, St. Vincent, and Lorde, respectively.