Is Richie Sambora returning to Bon Jovi? Depends on who you ask

Is Richie Sambora returning to Bon Jovi? Depends on who you ask

Sambora, who left the New Jersey band in 2013, and Alec John Such, who left in 1994, embraced their former bandmates after each spoke onstage to accept the honor. "This is really more about a group of people more than one person, it's a collective, a brotherhood and that's something that needs acknowledging tonight". "I can assure you, it's a personal thing".

Howard Stern did the honors for the band, with one of the night's more entertaining speeches.

In addition to his musical career, Jon Bon Jovi is an active philanthropist, founding charity restaurants and a social service center for the needy, and raising millions for affordable housing and other needs.

Bon Jovi will be inducted along with Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, Nina Simone and others.

During the ceremony, the band also performed their hit songs "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "It's My Life". The ceremoney started with The Killers giving tribute to the late Tom Petty.

The influential progressive rock group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, ushered in by Heart's Ann Wilson, who said the band "took me from childhood to adulthood as a disciple". "I've got mixed emotions", he said.

Hill stretched her voice and sang in French, in honor of Simone's music, which earned her a standing ovation from the crowd. After taped testimonials from the likes of Johnny Cash, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin and Jerry Lee Lewis, Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard inducted guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe, calling her "the godmother of rock "n" roll".

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With that, Bon Jovi then delivered what might have been the longest speech in recent Rock Hall induction history.

Orr died in 2000, but each of the band members acknowledged his impact, with lead singer Ric Ocasek saying "it feels odd being up here without him". Ric Ocasek, the singer of The Cars, discussed some of his early Cleveland shows.

And so they did, joined by Weezer bassist Scott Shriner, subbing for the band's bass guitarist-vocalist Benjamin Orr, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2000. It feels kinda odd to be up here without him.

Flowers will deliver the induction speech to welcome The Cars into the Hall. "She knew who she was, and she was confident", Blige said. He didn't address the gathering unlike the previous ceremonies where he opened the ceremonies with his speech.

The taped ceremony will air May 5 on HBO.

NOTE: A performance of Nina Simone's music and The Moody Blues' induction and concert performance took place late in the night after press deadline.