Luke Bryan praised the Doobie Brothers for being "passed down from generation to generation of fans, because their music has never stopped sounding fresh."

He inducted the group into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tonight during a special program airing live on HBO and HBO Max. An in-person event was initially set for May in Cleveland, then was postponed to November in the wake of a coronavirus pandemic, before finally being converted into a virtual ceremony.

"I've loved the Doobie Brothers since the first time I heard them as a kid," said Bryan, who memorably joined the group onstage for a 2011 episode of CMT's Crossroads. "I've had the privilege of playing with them onstage, and I can honestly say that they are great guys as well as great musicians."

Co-founders Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons were honored with current bandmate John McFee, as well as former contributors Michael McDonald, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, John Hartman, the late Michael Hossack, Tiran Porter and Keith Knudsen. Simmons has been the group's only consistent member over the years.

"The Doobies are one of those iconic American bands that seem to have been with us forever, making incredible music, always streaming out of the radio and always playing spectacular live shows," Bryan added. "This year marks their 50th anniversary as a band, an amazing achievement in itself. They've paid their dues and they've worked their asses off. But the Doobies always found a way to evolve and progress – and their fans were always out there waiting for them, because their songs are built to last."

The Doobie Brothers were joined in this year's class by T. Rex, Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails, among others. They'd been eligible since 1996, but weren't nominated for the first time until last year. The Doobies then came in third in fan balloting before a planned reunion tour with McDonald was also postponed.

Bryan took a moment along the way to poke good-natured fun of their time-specific moniker. "The Doobie Brothers would be the first to tell you that their band's name is the very definition of 'It seemed like a good idea at the time,'" he said with a shrug.

 

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