Neil Diamond to join Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:59am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. singer-songwriter Neil Diamond will enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, he announced on his website.

"Any club that has Chuck Berry and Little Richard and The Everly Brothers is a club that I want to be a part of," the 69-year-old "Sweet Caroline" singer said in a statement.

"I think it's great. I'm happy that they recognized me and my work."

Artists are eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first single or album, although Diamond began recording in the 1960s.

"I think we're (rock musicians) much more important than was assumed when rock first started," Diamond added in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine which was linked to his website.

"It was kind of like a joke and it was looked down on. I think rock has stood the test of time and really matured and become something valuable and important."

The music magazine reported that the Alice Cooper band, Tom Waits, Darlene Love and Dr. John would also be inducted into the Hall of Fame next year at a ceremony in New York on March 14.

Leon Russell will be receive The Award For Musical Excellence and industry executives Jac Holzman and Art Rupe will both receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

Cooper, lead singer of the eponymous band who is famous for his theatrical heavy metal antics, said the recognition had been a long time coming.   Continued...

<p>Singer Neil Diamond poses at the "Stand Up To Cancer" television event, aimed at raising funds to accelerate innovative cancer research, at the Sony Studios Lot in Culver City, California September 10, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>