Rock Hall makes it official: Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond among new class
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially announced the class of 2011 inductees Wednesday (12/15) -- Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Dr. John and Darlene Love -- adding Leon Russell in the sideman category and Specialty Records' Art Rupe and Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman under the heading of non-performers.
In making the announcement, the Hall of Fame narrowed the reasons for including each inductee. Cooper was singled out as the original self-proclaimed "rock villain" who brought a new level of visual theatrics to arenas; Diamond was deemed "one of the eternal verities of American popular music"; and with 50 years of music-making behind him, Dr. John was praised for being "steeped in the rhythms and traditions of New Orleans" and spending "his career championing its music."
Love, with a "powerful church-choir voice," was "a familiar (though uncredited) voice on radio and record," especially productions from Phil Spector, while Waits "has carved out a unique place in rock and roll. His music mixes Chicago blues, parlor ballads, beat poetry, pulp-fiction parlance and -- when you least expect it -- heart-breaking tenderness. His enormously influential live shows combine elements of German cabaret, vaudeville and roadhouse rock."
Holzman, who founded Elektra Records as a folk music label in 1950 and would eventually sign the Doors, Love and Carly Simon, and Rupe, who recorded Little Richard and made numerous legendary blues recordings at Specialty, will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers.
The 26th annual Induction Ceremony will be held March 14 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
Bon Jovi, LL Cool J , Beastie Boys and Laura Nyro were among the acts on the ballot not inducted.