Letterman wasn't the only fan in the room: As Vedder thanked his wife during his speech, one male fan from a seat up high screamed, "I love you, Eddie!" David Letterman, who replaced an ill Neil Young as induction speaker and was the only non-musician speaker, provided one of the night's highlights, delivering some comedic and heartfelt words on the band.
Letterman fondly recalled listening to Pearl Jam, as well as other live acts who performed on the Late Show during his 33-year tenure.
Their bond was such that Letterman told a moving story about how Vedder surprised Letterman's son, Harry, with a guitar and a thoughtful letter encouraging him to play music after Vedder appeared on one of Letterman's final shows. "I wanted to change it to Mother Soup Bone and they said, 'Get out'".
"Maybe the most important reason to be here tonight is to honor the people who work so hard to make this band flourish and function".
(L-R) Aynsley Dunbar, Gregg Rolie, Steve Smith, Steve Perry, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain of Journey accept an award onstage at the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center on April 7, 2017 in New York City.
Lenny Kravitz brought out a gospel choir to help him offer up a powerhouse tribute to his friend Prince, with electric renditions of "When Doves Cry" and "The Cross".
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The Rock Hall also inducted Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra, Yes, Tupac Shakur, and Pearl Jam. "And we really have been doing our very best to capture what I think are some timeless songs".
The induction of ELO, Yes and, especially Journey, were greeted with huge ovations, showing that the decision Rock Hall voters have made to embrace 1970s superstars, who have always been eligible but passed over, has been overwhelmingly popular.
She was inducted by Jackson Browne, who said the first album he bought with his own money was Baez's second album.
With Pineda on board, Journey found its second wind as recent albums like "Revelation" and "Eclipse" did well in the Billboard album charts in the U.S. The band has remained a top concert attraction worldwide and had a successful concert at the Mall of Asia Arena last February.
After Snoop, Alicia Keys took the stage to perform a collection of Tupac's hits, including "Ambitionz Az a Ridah", "I Ain't Mad at Cha", and "Dear Mama".
Producer and songwriter Nile Rodgers received a special recognition award presented by Pharrell Williams. He got choked up during his induction, as he spoke of his collaborations. Styles is also hoping to nab the number one spot this Friday, ending Ed Sheeran's epic 13-week reign on the singles chart with Shape Of You. "But believe me, every record I do I join the band".