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March 14, 2011

Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, Tom Waits: Into the R&R Hall of Fame They Go

Alice Cooper Tonight's the night. The 26th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place tonight at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The rockers being celebrated this time around include Alice Cooper (pictured), Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, and Tom Waits. This year's nonperformers recieiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award will be Elektra Records founder Jack Holzman and Specialty Records (Little Richard, etc.) founder Art Rupe. And this year's recipient of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award for Musical Excellence (formerly the much less glamorous-sounding "Sidemen Category") is the legendary pianist and singer Leon Russell. But wait, there's more: Cooper will be inducted by Rob Zombie; Diamond by Paul Simon; Dr. John by John Legend; Love by Bette Midler; Waits by Neil Young; Holzman by John Densmore of The Doors; Rupe by New Orleans R&B legend Lloyd Price; and Russell by longtime pal Elton John (their fantastic new album together, The Union, just came out last October, btw).

That's a lot of star power, for sure. But what about those who have yet to get in? It's a long list, but some of the more surprising names include Kiss, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, The Cars, Rush, Iron Maiden, T. Rex, Peter Gabriel... and the list goes on. Interestingly, with regard to Kiss, Gene Simmons recently had this to say: "There will be one more time that [the original lineup] will play together. Sometime in the future, we'll be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There will be one more time when we do it together, to honor the beginning." Any Kiss fans on the induction committee? Anybody?

Anyway, back to the ceremony: While your chances of getting into the Waldorf tonight are pretty slim, if you're in the Cleveland area you might still be able to score a ticket to the simulcast at the R&RHOF museum, which will kick off at 8:30 PM. The ceremony, including performances, will be broadcast on Fuse on March 20 at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

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