The Cleveland-based Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced Tuesday its inductees for 2017: an eclectic list of six acts: bands Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Pearl Jam and Yes, folk and protest singer Joan Baez, and the late rapper Tupac Shakur. Producer and performer Nile Rodgers will receive the Award for Musical Excellence.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the third time, and will again be telecast on HBO and broadcast on SiriusXM radio. Ticket on-sale dates will be announced in January.
Shakur’s estate posted on Instagram that it was “incredibly honored,” adding, “This award recognizes how Tupac’s message of change and mission to give a voice to those who didn’t have one continues to resonate with millions of people to this day. You are the reason Tupac’s legacy lives on.” Shakur was fatally shot after attending a boxing match in Las Vegas in 1996, a murder that has spawned conspiracy theories but remained unsolved.
Current, longtime Yes members Steve Howe and Alan White tweeted their appreciation, with Howe writing, “We thank all the Yes fans who have been so passionate over the decades & helped us to keep the flag flying. They have been heard.” White solemnly added, “We look forward to accepting this esteemed award in honor of our fallen brother Chris Squire,” who died last year at 67 after being diagnosed with leukemia.
“I am honored to be included and salute Chris, without whom it would never have happened,” tweeted former member Tony Kaye. “Chris would have been so very proud.” Another former member, Bill Bruford, wrote, “Yes was like my 1st girlfriend, to whom I was hopelessly committed. I’m glad to hear the old girl is in fine shape.”
Rodgers tweeted ebulliently, “Well you can knock me over with a feather this morning.” And Journey wrote that the band was “humbled to be included in such impressive company and grateful” to the Hall. Co-founder Neal Schon told Billboard magazine Tuesday he was attempting to contact estranged former frontman Steve Perry. “I would hope that Steve would at least do something with us,” he said, adding, “I’m looking forward to hearing from him and just seeing what he’s thinking and if he wants to share that at all. It should happen. It’s silly for it not to.”
Performers are eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first recording. They are chosen by more than 900 voters, as well as the aggregate results of the Hall’s online fan vote.