Once an artist is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they then become a voting member. Paul McCartney was first enshrined as a member of The Beatles in 1988 and then again as a solo artist in 1999. During his acceptance speech in ’99 he made a point to say that George Harrison and Ringo Starr should also be inducted for their solo work. Harrison went in posthumously in 2004, and next year Ringo will get his due, but not without a little help from McCartney, who says he mounted a campaign to make sure his longtime friend was honored.

Paul tells us exclusively, “Ringo is very deserving of it. If he isn’t who is. I was actually asked to ring him up and see if he would accept it.”

And Ringo says that is exactly what happened two weeks ago. “He said, ‘Would you accept the award?’ I said, ‘Sure, man.’ He said he’d been talking to Dave Grohl and other people and they were stunned that I wasn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he needed something to do that night and he’s going to give me the award. I’m so excited.”

Ringo is now the final member of The Beatles to be recognized for his solo work, but he thought just Paul was inducted. “I didn’t know that George and John were in it. I’m not keeping up with it all the time. We’ll have a very nice evening and it’ll be my pleasure to receive the award.”

John Lennon was inducted by McCartney in 1994.

As for what the honor means, Ringo says, “It means recognition. And it means, finally, the four of us are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though we were the biggest pop group in the land, though now it all looks funny in black and white.”

The 2015 induction ceremony is April 18th in Cleveland.