Madonna and Leonard Cohen among Hall of Fame inductees
By Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pop star Madonna, folk rock singer songwriter Leonard Cohen, rock hit John Mellencamp, pop group The Dave Clark Five and instrumental rockers The Ventures will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
The five inductees, announced on Thursday and chosen by 600 music industry professionals, 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 honor.
"The five inductees we're very proud of," Joel Peresman, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation president, said. "It really truly represents the wide spectrum of what rock and roll is all about."
Artists become eligible for the Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first single or album and are represented at a permanent exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Sixties British band The Dave Clark Five -- Dave Clark, Lenny Davidson, Rick Huxley, Denis Payton and Mike Smith -- and Mellencamp have been nominated previously, but this was the first year Madonna was eligible to be honored.
Madonna, 49, made her debut in 1982 and her first album "Madonna" included hits such as "Holiday," "Borderline" and "Lucky Star" which helped her become one of the best-selling pop artists, with more then 200 million albums sold worldwide.
"(The voters) don't really look at album sales and ticket sales as being the defining category of why someone gets inducted, it's really their influence and their place in history," Peresman said.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation describes Canadian Leonard Cohen, also an acclaimed poet and novelist, as "folk rock icon of the singer songwriter movement" who is among the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters." Continued...