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See David Letterman's hilarious tribute to Pearl Jam at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony

It was a memorable night for rock and roll royalty with Joan Baez, Pearl Jam and Journey joining the celebrated ranks.
/ Source: TODAY

What do you get when you cross Pearl Jam, Joan Baez and Tupac Shakur?

Throw in some Electric Light Orchestra, Yes, Journey and Nile Rodgers and you've got 2017's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class. A ceremony was held on Friday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn to honor the new inductees and pay tribute to some of the Hall's most iconic members.

It was — you guessed it — rockin'.

Grunge rockers Pearl Jam and folk activist Joan Baez were two of this year's Rock Hall honorees.Getty Images

You don't have to take our word for it. You'll be able to watch the induction ceremony on HBO on April 29. But until then, here are some of the most noteworthy moments from the event.

With the recent loss of Chuck Berry, it was only fitting that the event opened with a tribute to the "father of rock and roll" — especially since Berry was the first musician ever inducted into the Hall of Fame. After a video presentation on Berry's life and legacy, Jeff Lynne of ELO gave a performance of "Roll Over Beethoven" that had the crowd rockin' in two by two.

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That wasn't the only tribute the evening had in store.

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam used his speech to stir the crowd to action on climate change.Getty Images

Pearl Jam found a passionate fan in former "Late Show" host David Letterman, who came out of retirement to induct the band, filling in for Neil Young. "I can't begin to tell you what an honor and a privilege it is for me to be out of the house, honest to God," he said. "I know Neil Young was supposed to be here and people are saying ... I had something to do with it. And the truth with it is, the poor guy just can't stay up this late. It’s either that or the guy swallowed a harmonica."

Letterman spoke about how the band's history intersected with his own: "They were on my show 10 different times over the years. Every time they were there, they would blow the roof off the place and I'm not talking figuratively. They actually blew the roof off the place. For two years I did a show without a roof over the ... theater."

Presenter David Letterman speaks onstage at the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center on April 7, 2017 in New York City. Debuting on HBO Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm ET/PT.Getty Images

Snoop Dogg accepted an award on behalf of the late Tupac Shakur and said that beyond being a great friend, Shakur was "the greatest rapper of all time." He shared an emotional anecdote about visiting Shakur's mother after his death — it was a softer side of Snoop that we rarely see and very much appreciate.

Snoop Dogg brought the crowd to laughter (and maybe even a few tears) talking about his late friend, rapper Tupac Shakur.Getty Images

And the rock and roll community certainly hasn't forgotten Prince, who died almost a year ago on April 21, 2016. Lenny Kravitz brought in a formidable backup choir to help him perform "When Doves Cry" and "The Cross."

Journey was reunited with former frontman Steve Perry, who left the band 12 years ago. He didn't perform, but he did join his former bandmates onstage for a speech. See — they told us not to stop believin'!

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Aynsley Dunbar, Gregg Rolie, Steve Smith, Steve Perry, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain of Journey accepting the honor. Getty Images

And what would a rock and roll event be without a little activism? Both Joan Baez and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder took the opportunity to address the issues.

Baez touched on themes of equality and empowerment: "Let us together repeal and replace brutality and make compassion a priority. Let us build a great bridge, a beautiful bridge, to welcome the tired and the poor."

Eddie Vedder reminded the crowd that climate change is not "fake news" saying, "We cannot be the generation that history will look back upon and wonder, why didn't they do everything humanly possible to solve this biggest crisis of our time?"

It was a memorable night for rock and roll royalty — and we can't wait to see more in the full telecast!