The Bible tells us it’s more blessed to give than to receive, but when it comes to awards and honors, most artists would rather be the inductee than the inductor.
Five of this year’s nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have helped to induct other honorees at past ceremonies. Three did the honors twice.
Dave Matthews of the nominated Dave Matthews Band inducted Traffic in 2004 and Willie Nelson in 2023. While Matthews may not be the most obvious choice to induct Nelson, he did have a top 10 hit on Hot Country Songs in 2008 as a featured artist on Kenny Chesney’s “I’m Alive.”
Mary J. Blige inducted Solomon Burke in 2001 and Nina Simone in 2018. Neither of those artists enjoyed the crossover pop stardom Blige has attained, but they helped paved the way for her.
Mick Jones of the nominated Foreigner inducted a pair of 1950s rock pioneers – Eddie Cochran in 1987 and Duane Eddy in 1994.
Mariah Carey inducted Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1996. Both artists have won Grammys in both pop and R&B. Knight & the Pips won in both genres the same year (1974).
Lenny Kravitz inducted Lionel Richie in 2022. Both artists are four-time Grammy winners, though Kravitz’s honors all came in rock, while Richie’s only genre-specific Grammy was in pop.
There is recent precedent for artists who had previously inducted other artists into the Rock Hall coming back later as inductees in their own right. Sheryl Crow inducted Pat Benatar in 2022 before being inducted the following year. Simon LeBon and John Taylor of Duran Duran inducted Roxy Music in 2020, before their own band was honored in 2022. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails inducted The Cure in 2019 before NIN got the nod in 2020. Artist and activist Harry Belafonte inducted Public Enemy in 2013 before he was inducted as an early influence in 2022. Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters inducted Rush in 2013 before their own band was honored in 2021.