"No offense meant to anyone, but the Hall of Fame induction ceremony doesn't appear to be somewhere I'm actually wanted or respected. I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia... This decision is personal."
Axl is the first artist to publicly decline the induction since surviving members of the Sex Pistols, inducted in 2006, refused to attend the ceremony.
Members of Guns n' Roses, including former drummers Steven Adler and Matt Sorum, were up on stage accepting their award while Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day told the audience:
"Most singers are crazy. I can vouch for that. [Axl] is one of the best front man to ever touch a microphone. Sometimes you have to look back at chapters of your life to move forward."
There were also two other notable absences. The first being Rod Stewart, inducted with other band members from the Faces/Small Faces, was forced to cancel his appearance due to catching the flue. Rod previously missed his 1994 induction as a solo artist due to an earthquake in Los Angeles.
Also missing Beastie Boys' MCA (Adam Yauch), who was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. He couldn't accept his award with band members Mike D (Michael Diamond) and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz).
The Rock Hall, which has been criticized in the past for inducting lead performers over the iconic groups they led, appointed a committee to choose six additional overlooked groups this year.
Those groups included The Miracles led by Smokey Robinson; The Crickets, backing band to Buddy Holly; Bill Haley's The Midnighters; Gene Vincent's the Blue Caps; and the back-up band for James Brown, the Famous Flames.
Closing the inducting show were the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They took the stage for a couple of hits, opening with By The Way, featuring current drummer Chad Smith flanked by former drummers Jack Irons and Cliff Martinez.
The band remained on stage to lead the traditional jam with many of the evening's performers on Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground.
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