Awards

Charlize Theron, Howard Stern & 12 More Non-Music Stars Who Have Inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers

Charlize Theron
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Charlize Theron attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

Theron calls Depeche Mode's music “the soundtrack of my life.”

If you tune into HBO’s presentation of this year’s virtual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, you’ll see Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron induct Depeche Mode. It turns out that Theron, who grew up in South Africa, is a longtime fan of the English electronic music band. She calls their music “the soundtrack of my life.”

Theron is one of 14 non-music stars who have done the honors at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Here’s a complete list of the others, working backward chronologically.

Howard Stern: The king of all media inducted Bon Jovi (2018). In his speech, he called Jon Bon Jovi “a great frontman extraordinaire, the very definition of a rock star, a man who single-handedly destroyed most of the ozone layer in the '80s with Aqua Net hairspray.”

David Letterman: The iconic TV host inducted Pearl Jam (2017). The rock band made seven appearances on Late Show With David Letterman between 1996 and 2006.

Spike Lee: The film director teamed with calypso singer and social activist Harry Belafonte to induct Public Enemy (2013). Lee wrote, directed and produced Do the Right Thing, in which Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” appeared.

Chris Rock: The comedian and actor inducted Red Hot Chili Peppers (2012).  Rock had directed the music video for “Hump de Bump” from the band’s 2006 double album, Stadium Arcadium. The clip takes place on the set of Rock’s TV show, Everybody Hates Chris, and stars the comedian as himself.

Tom Hanks: The two-time Oscar-winning actor inducted the Dave Clark Five (2008). This was 12 years after Hanks wrote and directed That Thing You Do!, the story of a fictional pop/rock group, The Wonders.

Jann Wenner: The founder and editorial director of Rolling Stone and one of the principal organizers of the Rock Hall inducted Sex Pistols (2006). Frontman Johnny Rotten wrote Wenner a letter saying they wouldn’t attend the ceremony. In his letter, the punk icon called the Hall "a piss stain" and "urine in wine.” Wenner read the letter onstage and said the Pistols could come and pick up their statues at the Hall's Cleveland headquarters. "If they want to smash them into bits, they can do that, too," he said. Wenner received a lifetime achievement award from the Rock Hall in 2004.

Robert Townsend: The actor, director and writer inducted The Dells (2004). The plot of Townsend’s 1991 film The Five Heartbeats is partly inspired by The Dells, as well as such other R&B vocal groups as The Temptations and Four Tops.

Jim Stewart: The co-founder of Stax Records inducted Booker T. & the MG’s (1992). The ensemble recorded a decade-long string of hits for Stax, including three that made the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100: “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High” and “Time Is Tight.” Stewart received the Ahmet Ertegun award from the Rock Hall in 2002.

Phil Spector: The legendary producer inducted The Platters (1990) and Ike & Tina Turner (1991). Spector produced and co-wrote Ike & Tina’s 1966 classic “River Deep—Mountain High” (which, despite its classic status, flopped as a single, peaking at No. 88 on the Hot 100). Ike Turner is probably as famous today for spousal abuse as he is for his music. Spector also has a shadow over his legacy: He is in prison for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson. Spector received the Ahmet Ertegun award from the Rock Hall in 1989.

Bob Crewe: The songwriter inducted The Four Seasons (1990). He co-wrote many of their biggest hits including “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man” and “Rag Doll,” all of which reached No. 1 on the Hot 100. Crewe also co-write Frankie Valli’s solo smash “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” which rose to No. 2 and has become an oft-covered classic.

Doc Pomus: The famed songwriter inducted “Big Joe” Turner (1987). Pomus wrote Turner’s 1952 hit “Don’t You Cry.” With his frequent songwriting partner Mort Shuman and Turner, Pomus co-wrote Turner’s 1957 hit “Love Roller Coaster.” Both songs were hits on what is now called Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Pomus received the Ahmet Ertegun award from the Rock Hall in 1992.

Sam Phillips: The founder of Sun Records inducted Carl Perkins (1987). Perkins’ 1956 classic “Blue Suede Shoes,” which Phillips produced, was released on Sun. Phillips had received the Ahmet Ertegun award from the Rock Hall in 1986.

Lester Sills: The music publisher and record executive inducted The Coasters (1987). Sills had managed The Coasters in the ‘50s, and also shepherded the careers of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who wrote or co-wrote all of The Coasters’ biggest hits, including “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown” and “Poison Ivy.”

Billboard.com will run a review of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony closer to the airdate.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Unveil Class of 2020 | Billboard News