Duran Duran, Springsteen, Olivia Rodrigo kick off Rock Hall of Fame gala

Duran Duran kicked off Saturday's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a rollicking medley of their top hits, opening the concert gala where Dolly Parton and Eminem are also set to enter the prestigious institution.

Along with the British New Wave innovators the country queen and rap agitator are joined by pop futurists Eurythmics, smooth rocker Lionel Richie, confessional lyricist Carly Simon and enduring rock duo Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo in entering the music pantheon.

Inducted by Sheryl Crow, Benatar and Giraldo delivered a heart-thumping rendition of their top songs including "Love is a Battlefield" and "Hearbreaker" at the show that's more supergroup concert than ceremony.

The Cleveland-based Hall of Fame also doled out a number of inductions for special contributions to music including to Jimmy Iovine, a producer and one of the industry's master power players.

The man who co-founded Interscope Records and nurtured the careers of major artists including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem as well as Gwen Stefani, Mary J. Blige and Tom Petty was inducted by none other than one of his most successful proteges: Bruce Springsteen.

The Boss recalled Iovine's early days engineering "Born To Run," how his first artist signed to Interscope was Gerardo -- the guy behind the classic "Rico Suave" -- and Iovine's deft decision to give Springsteen's scrapped song "Because The Night" to punk poet Patti Smith.

"Recognizing their talent is your talent," Springsteen said, with Iovine acknowledging all the artists he made great -- and who made him great in return.

"Thank the people who mentored you and try to return all those favors by being some kind of mentor for somebody else when you can," Iovine said.

"No one gets to a moment like this alone."

- Rodrigo sings 'You're So Vain' -

Duran Duran met the moment with a best-of medley including "Girls On Film" and "Hungry Like The Wolf."

But the British group also held a somber moment for former member Andy Taylor. Frontman Simon Le Bon read an open letter from the guitarist that revealed he had been struggling with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer for years.

But Taylor said he was "sure as hell glad I'm around to see the day" the hitmakers made it into the rock pantheon.

The Cleveland-based Hall of Fame surveyed more than 1,000 musicians, historians and industry members to choose this year's entrants.

The 2022 class was one of the hallowed institution's most eclectic in years, continuing a trend of bringing rappers, pop, R&B and country stars into the hall's fold.

Janet Jackson appeared to grant top producer duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis a special induction for "musical excellence," as Alice Cooper did the same for metal forgers Judas Priest.

Simon was inducted by Sara Bareilles but unable to attend the ceremony, as two of her sisters recently both died of cancer.

The songwriter known for deeply personal lyricism expressed her pride and shock in a message Bareilles read outloud.

"One of the greatest things about music," Simon said, "is its uncanny knack for making physical art out of formless emotions like joy and pain."

Pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo then took the stage to perform Simon's seminal 1970s hit "You're So Vain," as audience members including Brandi Carlile and LL Cool J bobbed their heads and belted out a sing-along.

Still on deck were highly anticipated performances from Eminem and Dolly Parton.

The inclusion of Parton, 76, prompted a characteristically humble response from the beloved icon, who initially requested her name be taken out of the running, saying that she was far from a rock star.

But voting had already begun, and the organization explained to Parton -- whose prolific body of work includes the classics "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You" -- that her body of work was worthy.

Earlier in the week hall foundation chairman John Sykes teased that she was set to debut a new rock song during her set at the gala.

- Eminem, Eurythmics on deck -

Eminem -- whose "The Marshall Mathers LP" is one of the best-selling albums of all time -- gained the recognition in his first year of eligibility: acts can be inducted 25 years after their first commercial music release.

The rapper who is among pop's master provocateurs with a blistering flow joins fellow rappers including Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube and Grandmaster Flash along with his loyal producer and mentor Dr Dre in the hall.

Lionel Richie, the crooner behind enduring love songs "All Night Long" and "Hello," was also among the inductees set to perform .

Synthpop pioneers Eurythmics -- the duo comprised of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart -- were also set to take their place among rock's greatest.

Also honored Saturday were Harry Belafonte and folk guitar trailblazer Elizabeth Cotten, who both received early influence awards.