The Killers opened the show with a tribute to Tom Petty by doing “American Girl” with a little bit of “Free Fallin'” tossed in at the end.
Ann Wilson, who inducted The Moody Blues, and guitarist Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains later did a moving version of Soundgarden‘s “Black Hole Sun” in honor of Chris Cornell.
Ann Wilson on Chris Cornell. “Chris was my friend and he was at the very heart of the Seattle music scene and beyond. I miss him but I realize that he went as far as he could in this world with his soul. He couldn’t go any farther.”
Cantrell, who, like Ann and Chris, is from Seattle, was only to happy to participate after Ann reached out to him.
Jerry Camtrell on Chris Cornell. “Chris was a friend for many years. Incredible artist, wonderful human being and I’ve always been inspired by his work ethic and talent. You know, obviously very sad [and] I still don’t know how to really discuss it personally. But, at this point it’s time to maybe focus on the type of man he was and the type of human being and the type of artist — incredible depth. You know, I’m gonna miss him immensely but I also celebrate his life and his life’s work.”
Cornell was 52 when he hung himself last May in a Detroit hotel.
Highlights from this year’s ceremony will air on HBO on May 5th at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Tom Petty and Chris Cornell were remembered in song at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday in Cleveland.