Duran Duran has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of the 2022 class.
The pioneering new wave group formed in the late ‘70s, releasing their self-titled debut album in 1981. For more than a decade, they remained a dominant force in music, selling more than 100 million records and winning fans across the globe. Their list of hits – including “Girls on Film,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Rio” and “Ordinary World” – are still popular on radio and with new generations of fans.
Duran Duran earned entry into the Hall of Fame on their first nomination, though they have been eligible since 2007. They won the fan vote before the announcement of this year’s inductees. The current lineup – singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor – were all on hand to accept the honor, though a promised reunion with former members Andy Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo didn’t happen.
Robert Downey Jr., in his introductory speech, recognized Duran Duran’s longevity, their musicianship – and their headbands. “It all comes down to two words – confidence and faith,” Downey added. “Duran Duran invites us all to put our best days here now, and still in front of us.”
Andy Taylor couldn’t make it, Le Bon said. He read a letter from their original guitarist, revealing that Taylor is suffering from metastastic prostate cancer.
John Taylor mentioned Duran Duran’s many influences, including the Beatles, Mick Ronson, Nile Rodgers and Siouxsie and the Banshees, among others. “These artists and so many others were parents mentors and spirit guides,” he said. “Without their music we might never have found each other.”
Nick Rhodes compared their deep bond to a kind of polygamy, while also arguing for the induction of New York Dolls, another key influence. “We share this award with you,” he told their adoring fans.
This wasn’t the first time members of Duran Duran appeared on the Rock Hall stage. In 2019, John Taylor and Le Bon were on hand to induct Roxy Music, an experience Taylor told Spin was “one of the greatest privileges of my life.” In the same conversation, he laughed off suggestions that Duran Duran’s new-wave sound didn’t belong among “rock” artists.
“After electronics started coming in, and we’re building on these very square bases of electronic pulses, then that’s where people went, ‘That’s not rock ‘n’ roll,’” Taylor said, “and for the first few years, that seemed important. ‘What do you mean we’re not rock ‘n’ roll?’ And then I was like, ‘Fine, fine. We’re not rock ‘n’ roll. Who cares?’ And now, well, now you’re going into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”
Rodgers, who remixed their 1983 hit “The Reflex,” was part of the induction video that played prior to the band’s acceptance speech. He also worked with the Andy and John Taylor on the Duran Duran offshoot band Power Station.
Duran Duran‘s victory lap before making their acceptance speeches at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony experienced a couple of bumps in the road.
The band’s current lineup – singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor – were set to be joined by two former Duran Duran members during the performance: Andy Taylor, the group’s guitarist and backing vocalist from 1980–86 and 2001–06, and multi-instrumentalist Warren Cuccurullo, who was with the band from 1989-2001.
Neither made the show, as Le Bon later revealed a cancer battle for Andy Taylor. They also endured some early sound problems.
The set started with “Girls on Film,” before briefly breaking down. “This proves that we’re not lip syncing,” Le Bon joked, then started over. The crowded erupted with approval as Duran Duran returned at full power. “Hungry Like the Wolf” turned into a huge singalong, followed with an emotional reading of “Ordinary World.” The band then made individual acceptance speeches.
Duran Duran’s hoped-for reunion was highly anticipated, as Le Bon heaped earlier praise on their former bandmates. “They are both extremely excited and very, very grateful and honored in the same way that Nick, Roger, John and I are as well,” Le Bon told Rolling Stone. “We’ve always maintained a decent relationship with these guys. We didn’t have so-called ‘acrimonious splits.’ It was gentlemanly and it was understood – and pretty much mutual.”
Robert Downey Jr. inducted Duran Duran, followed by a video that featured former collaborator Nile Rodgers, among others. The band spent most of 2022 touring in support of 2021’s Future Past. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame performance was Duran Duran’s last announced of the year, capping off a 35-date North American tour.