Art Garfunkel had the honor of inducting his friend Yusuf Islam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight, and the Simon and Garfunkel star did a fine job pointing out why the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens's music was so enduring.

"Sensitivity with a bass voice -- I should have thought of that," he lamented cheekily at one point. Later, he quipped: "This guy's better than Paul Simon!"

Garfunkel's comments weren't rooted in jealousy, but rather admiration. And during his speech, his reverence for Islam's music shone through; Garfunkel sang snippets of his songs and talked about why they mattered. Garfunkel also demonstrated plenty of respect for Islam as a person.

"He played with his persona the way he played with chord changes," Garfunkel says. And, later: "The most sincere seeker, a loving man with an ever-expanding embrace, my friend Yusuf Islam, the artist we call Cat Stevens."

Islam started his speech on a slightly bewildered note: "I never thought I'd be on the same stage as Kiss, to be honest."

The rest of his speech was rambling and often nonlinear ("Inducted -- it sounds weird and medical"), covering the love he has for his family, the history of music (Beethoven's 9th symphony: "The best pop song ever written") and, finally, the paradox of his peace-loving, clean-living self being elected to the Hall of Fame.

"[He] doesn't drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn't throw televisions out of hotel rooms and only sleeps with his wife," Islam said. "I'd say it was a very brave decision -- and one which was unexpected and strangely, outrageously rock & roll. Peace."