Duran Duran star Andy Taylor has stage four cancer (2024)

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Duran Duran star Andy Taylor has stage four cancer (1)Image source, Getty Images

By Mark Savage

BBC Music Correspondent

Duran Duran's original guitarist Andy Taylor has been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer.

The musician revealed the diagnosis in a letter read by his former bandmates, external as they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday.

The event was meant to be as a reunion for the band, whose classic line-up has not played together since 2006.

Taylor said he was "massively disappointed" to miss the show, and had "bought a new guitar" for the occasion.

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Singer Simon Le Bon read Taylor's letter to the audience, which read: "Just over four years ago I was diagnosed with stage four metastatic prostate cancer.

"Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different; so I speak from the perspective of a family man but with profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade."

Taylor, who was born in Tynemouth, wrote that he was receiving "sophisticated life-extending treatment", but had recently suffered a "setback," that prevented him travelling to Los Angeles for the ceremony.

"Although my current condition is not immediately life-threatening there is no cure," he added.

Image source, Getty Images

Formed in Birmingham, Duran Duran were one of the biggest pop bands of the 1980s, known for their lavish videos and danceable, synthesized pop singles.

They were first band to be inducted at this year's Hall of Fame concert, and opened the show with a hit-packed medley that included Girls On Film, Hungry Like The Wolf and Ordinary World.

Dolly Parton, Eminem, Lionel Richie, Eurythmics, Pat Benatar, Eminem, Carly Simon, Harry Belafonte and Judas Priest were also added to the Hall of Fame roster.

Parton, whose hits include Jolene, I Will Always Love You and 9 To 5, initially rejected her nomination, saying she didn't think country music was eligible, but later relented.

"I'm a rock star now!" she said during her acceptance speech.

"Back when they said they were going to induct me into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I didn't really think that I'd done enough to deserve that. I didn't understand at the time. But this is a very, very special night for me."

Afterwards, the singer performed a star-studded version of Jolene, joined by Pat Benatar, Eurythmics' singer Annie Lennox, Simon Le Bon, Brandi Carlile, and Judas Priest's Rob Halford.

Image source, Getty Images

Eminem was inducted by Dr Dre, who said almost everyone he knew had tried to discourage him from working with a white rapper.

But "I knew that his gifts were undeniable," Dre said. "Each of us was what the other one needed - and I was willing to bet my entire career on it."

Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers, used his speech to namecheck the rappers who had influenced him, from pioneers Tupac, Chuck D, Outkast and Snoop Dogg to more underground names like Lord Finesse and JJ Fad.

He did so partly to highlight the Hall of Fame's lack of recognition for hip-hop (he is only the ninth rap act to be inducted alongside Run DMC, NWA, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys and Grandmaster Flash).

"Those were my rock stars, man," said the musician. "And I just want to say, those are just a few of the names that I hope will be considered in the future for induction. Because without them, a lot of us wouldn't be here. I know I wouldn't."

Image source, Getty Images

Eminem went on to perform his hits My Name Is, Rap God and Sing for the Moment - the latter accompanied by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, who was sampled on the original song.

He then brought out Ed Sheeran for a live rendition of Stan.

"I'm not supposed to be here tonight," said Eminem following his set. "One, I'm a rapper; two, I almost died from an overdose; and three, I really had to fight my way through… I'm a high school drop-out with a hip-hop education."

Janet Jackson inducted her long-time collaborators, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

The duo started out in the Prince side project The Time before becoming one of America's most prominent production teams, writing hits like the SOS Band's Just Be Good To Me, Mary J Blige's No More Drama, Usher's U Remind Me and almost all of Jackson's singles, including What Have You Done For Me Lately, Rhythm Nation, That's The Way Love Goes and Together Again.

"I feel like we broke through the music industry together," said Jackson "They taught me so much, and I learned their lessons well.

"When I went to work on what became Control in their hometown of Minneapolis, there was pressure. We felt like we were kids in a sandbox… We talked and laughed so much that sometimes it didn't even feel like we were making a record."

Image source, Getty Images

British metal band Judas Priest took the stage with estranged guitarist KK Downing, who in 2011, playing classics like You've Got Another Thing Comin', Breaking The Law and Living After Midnight.

"I'm the gay guy in the band," said frontman Rob Halford.

"We call ourselves the heavy metal community, which is all-inclusive, no matter what your sexual identity is, what you look like, or what you believe in or don't believe in. Everybody's welcome."

Eurythmics were inducted by U2's the Edge, Lionel Richie by Lenny Kravitz, and Carly Simon by Sara Bareilles.

Simon, whose two younger sisters both died in recent weeks, declined to perform, but Barailles took her place, singing Nobody Does It Better, followed by Olivia Rodrigo who delivered a strutting version of You're So Vain.

Image source, Getty Images

Image source, Getty Images

Image source, Getty Images

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