04/18/2013 06:00 EDT | Updated 06/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Rush joins Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Today's the day Rush fans have long awaited, as the celebrated Canadian progressive rock group officially joins the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The influential power trio — comprising Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart — became eligible for the music world honour in the late 1990s. However, despite widespread kudos from the music industry, pop culture acknowledgement in films and TV shows, as well as years of petitions and protests by the group's myriad devotees, they only made it in the latest round of inductees.

- BLOG: Rush and the long road to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

For the hall's class of 2013, the general public was given a say in the voting process, and Rush fans acted.

"It takes a while to 'get' Rush," music critic Ben Rayner told CBC News.

"Once you 'get' Rush, even if you don't necessarily enjoy the music, you can appreciate them. And that's the thing: people respect them."

Paul Beaulieu, a superfan whose walls are decorated with Rush pictures and who has attended more than 100 of the Toronto band's concerts over the years, is among the longtime supporters who will be in Los Angeles for Thursday night's music-filled induction ceremony.

"They keep progressing. They don't rest on their laurels. They keep practicing and getting better and they keep producing what we wanna hear," he said of his favourite band.

- WATCH: Rush 'the fruit of a long-term relationship' says Geddy Lee

Also to be inducted on Thursday night are:

- Rock group Heart.

- Record producer and Roxy Theatre owner Lou Adler.

- Producer and composer Quincy Jones.

- Rap troupe Public Enemy.

- Bluesman Albert King.

- Pop singer-songwriter Randy Newman.

- Disco queen Donna Summer.

Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters, who consider Rush one of their key influences, will deliver the tribute to the Canadian band. Other performers and presenters will include Usher, Spike Lee, Harry Belafonte, Carole King, John Mayer, Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson.

The sold-out Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. The show will be broadcast on HBO on May 18.