Bon Jovi, the Cars and four first-time nominees, including Nina Simone, were set to be inducted as the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class on Saturday night.
The 33rd annual ceremony is honoring Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Sister Rosetta Tharpe received a lifetime achievement award.
Led by Sayreville native Jon Bon Jovi, the band released its first album in 1984, but were regulars on the New Jersey bar circuit for years before that - sometimes when the singer was too young to legally drink at those bars.
This Saturday, thousands of people will descend upon the noted music mecca of Cleveland to watch six acts get a well-deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
After an opening tribute to Tom Petty by the Killers, including "American Girl" and a chorus of "Free Fallin", Stern delivered an at times emotional but mostly humorous speech. "That's such a big number", Stern said. Now, the bubonic plague only killed 50 million people. Six-hundred-and-twenty-five-thousand people died in the Civil War. He even sang some of "Wanted Dead or Alive", getting the audience to join in.
They were inducted by Howard Stern, who provided many laughs at the event. "It is my honor to induct you".
Orr died in 2000, but each of the band members acknowledged his impact, with lead singer Ric Ocasek saying "it feels odd being up here without him". "It just didn't appeal to him, and I appealed to him on several occasions".
Backstage, Bon Jovi turned to his band: "These guys, they gave me their lives".
After Bon Jovi's set, Dire Straits was inducted in a unusual moment by its own, bass guitarist John Illsley, who acknowledged the uniqueness of the decision.
Featuring food from notable city chefs, it was a kind of calm before the ceremony storm (both literally and figuratively given thunderstorm predictions for Saturday) - albeit a loud kind of calm thanks to music from Philadelphia's Low Cut Connie, which covered favorites by Rock Hall inductees and also dedicated a version of Black Sabbath's "Changes" to the late Charles Bradley, who had covered the song.
Onstage, Illsley said of Mark's absence: "I'll assure you it's a personal thing".
Return to Cleveland 19 throughout the day for livestreaming, red carpet photos and ceremony videos.