It's official! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now counts Deep Purple among the scores of inductees after the band qualified for eligibility more than two decades ago. Though controversy still surrounded the seminal hard rock / proto-heavy metal outfit leading up to the induction ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., it all went off without a hitch as Metallica drummer and lifelong Deep Purple fan Lars Ulrich gave a lengthy induction speech wearing, yes, a jacket with a tag describing the garment's color as "deep purple."

Ulrich had been championing for Deep Purple's induction since Metallica were bestowed the honor in 2009. His speech was delivered from the heart, describing how his father took him to see Deep Purple in February of 1973, adding, "Everything was larger than life, the sound the spectacle, the songs, the musicians, all doing things with their instruments that I had never seen before – and didn't even know was possible. Deep Purple were a beautiful contradiction, like you just walked in on five musicians at the top of their game jamming one classic after another with raw intensity, as if they were in a garage playing for no one but themselves."

He then gave praise unto Ian Gillan, Jon Lord, Roger Glover, Ian Paice and "Ritchie f--king Blackmore" before stating, "Where I grew up, and in the rest of the world outside of North America, all were equal in status, stature and influence. So in my heart – and I know I speak for many of my fellow musicians and millions of Purple fans when I confess that – I am somewhat bewildered that they are so late in getting in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." The crowd applauded and Ulrich continued, "Decades, decades after the mighty [Black] Sabbath and the brilliant [Led] Zeppelin. This of course is of no disrespect to those fans or the Rock Hall, I just have to make clear that Deep Purple are as revered everywhere else in the world."

Moving on to honor the MK III lineup of the group consisting of David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes replacing Gillan and Glover respectively. The drummer then shared another memory of seeing Deep Purple less than a year later in December of 1973, witnessing this incarnation for the first time. Turning back the clock, Ulrich acknowledged original singer Rod Evans, who was among the eight of 14 potential inductees.

When it came time for Deep Purple to receive their awards and deliver their individual acceptance speeches (video below), they took the mic one by one, the first being singer Ian Gillan. He went on to list every musician who has ever been a part of the band, including Joe Satriani, insisting this award "is not really for us, I think this award is very much for our families and our business connections, our crew and our fans who have been absolutely amazing."

The current lineup of Deep Purple performed at the ceremony, consisting of Gillan, Glover, Paice, guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey. The set began with the Machine Head opener "Highway Star" going into "Green Onions" and their classic Billy Joe Royal cover of "Hush." Of course, the night would not be complete without a performance of the immortal "Smoke on the Water."

As expected, Ritchie Blackmore was not present to accept his award nor perform. Glenn Hughes spoke to Loudwire about Deep Purple's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (video below) stating Blackmore's absence is "a damn shame" as well as expressing his gratitude for being honored among the inductees. As had been reported, Blackmore was barred from participating in the ceremony by Deep Purple's management.

Deep Purple Acceptance Speeches

Glenn Hughes Talks Deep Purple's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

See Where Ritchie Blackmore Ranks Among the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time

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