The story of the night at the 34th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction was not about who played at the Barclays Center ceremony on Friday night, but who didn’t.Janet Jackson and Radiohead—two of the seven 2019 inductees, both of whom could have sold out the arena on their own — didn’t even perform.
At least Jackson showed up to give an empowering speech about taking control of her family name and owning it for herself despite the long shadow cast by her older brothers, who were inducted as the Jackson 5 in 1997.
“As the youngest in the family, I was determined to make it on my own…but never in a million years did I expect to follow in their footsteps,” Jackson said in one of the best speeches of the night (which followed a rousing induction by a Rhythm Nation-styled Janelle Monáe). “Tonight your baby sister has made it.”
But Thom Yorke, frontman of Radiohead, didn’t even bother to show up, leaving speech honors to drummer Philip Selway and guitarist Ed O’Brien. Yorke, who cited previous commitments as the reason for his no-show at the RRHoF induction, has said that he’s “always been very blasé about that stuff.”