Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Neil Diamond had been eligible for
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for several years but never got a nomination to
join music’s prestigious club. But he was never really worried about it.

“I thought about it occasionally,
but I kind of figured they’d get around to me at some point,” he said.

That point came on Tuesday, as the
2011 class for the Cleveland hall was revealed. Diamond, whose hits include
“Sweet Caroline,” made the list, along with the Alice Cooper Band,
New Orleans musician Dr. John, Darlene Love and singer-songwriter Tom Waits.

Piano man Leon Russell was honoured
with a musical excellence award, previously the sideman category. Executives
Jac Holzman and Art Rupe were given the Ahmet Ertegun Awards.

It took three tries before Love,
best known for hits such as “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry”
and her work with producer Phil Spector and the Blossoms, was approved for the
hall. When reached on Tuesday, an enthusiastic Love said: “I can actually breathe.”

“Finally it’s done,” she
added. “It still hasn’t hit me yet. I still have that nervous stomach, and
I’m still excited.”

The excitement will have to wait
for some: Bon Jovi, nominated for the first time, was turned away from the
hall, as was LL Cool J, the J. Geils Band, the Beastie Boys, Donna Summer and

Alice Cooper’s name had been
mentioned in conjunction with the Rock Hall for years, but the shock rocker
hadn’t been nominated until this year. Like Diamond, Cooper said he wasn’t
anxiously waiting.

“You know it crosses your
mind, but then you think of all the guys who aren’t in there, some of them
before you, and you go, `Wow.’ … You realize that it’s a waiting game,”
he said.

Cooper, a heavy metal rocker best
known for his dark horror themes, said his band was responsible for bringing
show business into rock `n’ roll.

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