The lead singer and driving force behind the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, Axl Rose was one of the most polarizing figures in popular music for over three decades. To his fans, Rose's strident, assaultive vocals and lyrics tapped into a deep wellspring of fury and sadness, giving a powerful voice to their collective feelings of social exclusion on such classics tracks as "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City." Detractors viewed him as a racist, homophobic egomaniac whose paranoia and unchecked violent tendencies led to the dissolution of his original band and left a wake of broken relationships, canceled concerts and alienated followers. By 1997, Rose had gone from the heights of the rock scene to virtual seclusion while he crafted Guns N' Roses' fourth album, Chinese Democracy. Fifteen years and numerous band lineup changes later, the record was delivered, but in Rose's absence, musical tastes had changed several times over, and hard rock acts like his were no longer in vogue. The selection in 2012 of G N' R for the Rock and Roll Hall was conflicting for Rose; his singular vision had propelled the group to immortality within its chosen genre, but his perfectionism and combativeness had also affected their chances to remain viable in a business that largely regarded him as one of its most unsavory figures.