Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to induct Madonna
By Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pop star Madonna, folk singer Leonard Cohen, rocker John Mellencamp, British pop band The Dave Clark Five and instrumental group The Ventures will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday.
The five artists have been chosen by 600 music industry professionals, and beat out disco queen Donna Summer, New York-based funk group Chic, rap pioneer Afrika Bambaataa and hip-hop group The Beastie Boys for the 23rd annual induction.
Artists become eligible for the Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first single or album and are represented in an exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
"The 2008 inductees are trailblazers -- all unique and influential in their genres," said Joel Peresman, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation president. "From poetry to pop, these five acts demonstrate the rich diversity of rock and roll."
For '60s British band The Dave Clark Five -- Dave Clark, Lenny Davidson, Rick Huxley, Denis Payton and Mike Smith -- the induction will be bittersweet after lead singer Smith, 64, died late last month from pneumonia. He had been paralyzed from the waist down after suffering a spinal cord injury in 2003.
"He was extremely excited and honored to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I am glad that he will be remembered as a Hall of Famer because he was in so many ways," Smith's agent, Margo Lewis, said when he died.
The Dave Clark Five topped the British charts in 1965 with "Glad All Over" and were described by the foundation as "an enormous pop phenomenon" before disbanding in 1970. The group has sold more than 50 million albums to date.
The band will be inducted by actor Tom Hanks and there will be a special performance in its honor. Continued...