The Latest: Tom Petty honored at Rock Hall opening ceremony

Jon Bon Jovi arrives at the red carpet before the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Tom Petty honored to kick off Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony

CLEVELAND — The Latest on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

The late Tom Petty was honored with a rousing musical tribute by The Killers to open the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland.

Petty, who was enshrined with his band The Heartbreakers in 2002, died in October of an accidental drug overdose shortly after wrapping up a highly successful North American tour.

As giant photos of Petty were displayed behind the stage, The Killers kicked off Saturday evening's tribute with "American Girl" one of Petty's best-known hits. The band then transitioned into a segment of "Free Fallin' as lead singer Brandon Flowers urged the crowd of 10,000 to "get on your feet for the eternal Tom Petty."

Flowers will deliver the induction speech to welcome The Cars into the Hall.

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6:50 p.m.

The party hasn't started at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony but the atmosphere already is rocking.

Guests are hitting the red carpet Saturday evening for the ceremony, which is back in Cleveland.

New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi, new wave pioneers the Cars and four first-time nominees, including singer Nina Simone, are in this year's eclectic class. Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe also are being enshrined.

Jon Bon Jovi is expected to be joined on stage by former members Richie Sambora and Alec John Such to perform some of their arena-friendly anthems like "Livin' On A Prayer."

Desmond Child, who co-wrote some of the band's biggest hits, says he'd "love to see them back together."

Dire Straits lead singer Mark Knopfler isn't attending the event.

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10:36 a.m.

Bon Jovi, the Cars and four first-time nominees, including Nina Simone, will be inducted as the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class.

Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who died in 1973, will earn the prestigious honor Saturday night at Public Auditorium in Cleveland, where the Rock Hall is based.

Jon Bon Jovi will be inducted alongside current bandmates David Bryan and Tico Torres, as well as former members Richie Sambora and Alec John Such. The band will be inducted by Howard Stern.

Tharpe will be inducted by Brittany Howard, of Alabama Shakes. Mary J. Blige will induct Simone, who died in 2003.

Brothers Mark and David Knopfler, of English rockers Dire Straits, won't attend the event, according to bassist John Illsley.

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