Music world honors Dolly Parton and Eminem with gala in Los Angeles

"I'm a rock star now!" exclaimed Dolly Parton, raising her fists in the air as she walked onto the stage.

Music world honors Dolly Parton and Eminem with gala in Los Angeles

"I'm a rock star now!" exclaimed Dolly Parton, raising her fists in the air as she walked onto the stage. A group of musicians including US singer Pink sang Parton's hit "9 to 5" before the 76-year-old country music star returned to the stage in an outfit draped with chains. Playing a crystal-encrusted electric guitar, Parton introduced her new rock song.

Parton originally declined her induction into the Hall of Fame, saying it was for rock and roll musicians. "I never thought of myself as a rock artist," the glamorous singer-songwriter explained. She doesn't want to "take away" a place from a musician who deserves it more than she does. But she finally gave up her resistance. The country legend rose to fame with hits like "Jolene" and "Islands in the Stream."

In his acceptance speech, Eminem, now 50, addressed the obstacles he had to overcome - including a difficult childhood and addiction problems. The Detroit rapper burst onto the international music stage in the late 1990s with the darkly funny hits from his debut album The Slim Shady LP.

Eminem thanked dozens of fellow rappers. "They say it takes a village to raise a kid. Well, it took a whole genre and culture to raise me," he explained. He was a high school dropout with a "hip-hop education, and these are my teachers."

The year 2022 once again saw musicians from all directions enter the hallowed halls. "Rock and roll isn't a colour, it's a feeling, it's a vibe," said singer Ritchie to cheers. Synthpop pioneers Eurythmics put on a performance that included their classic "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)".

Duran Duran kicked off the evening with a compilation of their greatest hits. The group had sad news, however: Frontman Simon Le Bon read an open letter from former bandmate and guitarist Andy Taylor, in which he revealed he was battling advanced metastatic prostate cancer. He was "damn glad to see the day" when Duran Duran made it into the Hall of Fame.

Songwriter Carly Simon did not attend the gala due to the recent deaths of two of her sisters from cancer. "One of the great things about music is its uncanny ability to turn formless emotions into physical art," said Simon in a message that singer Sara Bareilles left. Pop star Olivia Rodrigo sang Simon's hit "You're so Vain".

Also honored were heavy metal group Judas Priest, calypso star Harry Belafonte, rock duo Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo, and folk pioneer Elizabeth Cotten.

The various artists have one thing in common, said the president of the famous hall, John Sykes, in an interview with Forbes magazine this week: "They created the sound of young America." Sykes emphasized the fluid definition of "rock," which is more about the soul of music than the genre.

Around a thousand musicians, music historians and other industry representatives decide on the places in the Hall of Fame. There is also a fan vote.

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