"It's as simple as that", Illsley, in an interview with Billboard, said of Mark Knopfler.
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.
He then led the audience in a singalong of "Wanted Dead or Alive", and ended his lengthy and out-of-tune a cappella take by saying, "Eat shit, Bob Dylan".
Simone, who won induction on her first nomination, was widely considered one of the most influential singers of the 20th century who brought the sensibilities of classical music to gospel and jazz.
Killers frontman Brandon Flowers will induct The Cars, whose four surviving members - Ric Ocasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson - will give a reunion performance.
The sold-out ceremony begins at 7.30pm and Red-carpet arrivals start at 5.30pm and air via a livestream on the Rock Hall's website and social-media channels.
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Bon Jovi did campaign fundraising events for Murphy, who lives near one of the rock star's homes in Monmouth County near the Jersey shore.
Desmond Child, who co-wrote some of the band's biggest hits, says he'd "love to see them back together".
Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe will all take their place as members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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. But neither the comedian nor the band showed up that day, and while Stern quickly made up with Kinison, he wouldn't reconcile with Bon Jovi for a few more years.
Tharpe will be inducted by Brittany Howard, of Alabama Shakes. Mary J. Blige will induct Simone, who died in 2003.
Dire Straits, led by Mark Knopfler, emerged from Britain's so-called pub rock scene of the 1970s, which emphasized blues roots and no-frills musicianship in an era of angry punks and flamboyant glam bands.