CLEVELAND - It is a diverse group of entertainers nominated for the 2011 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The group encompasses greats from punk-inspired rap to shock-rock. Among the 15 nominees is the rap trio the Beastie Boys, one of rap's most enduring icons, LL Cool J, New Jersey rock warhorses Bon Jovi, and shock rocker Alice Cooper. Also in this year's group of nominees is Alice Cooper and the gravel-voiced troubadour Tom Waits.
Joining that group are such names as crooner Neil Diamond, folks legends Donovan and Laura Nyro, New Orleans "Night Tripper" Dr. John, funky bar-band rockers the J. Geils Band, disco queen Donna Summer, funk act Chic, girl group graduate Darlene Love, soul singer Joe Tex, and R&V singer and "king of the Stroll" Chuck Willis.
At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, word spread through the hall as quickly as a memorable lyric hangs in the minds of an audience which has heard something special. "Tom Waits is nominated," said one visitor. "It's about time."
"I like my disco," said another visitor, who admitted she forced her children to listen to Donna Summer."
"I saw Alice Cooper a couple of years ago and I thought he'd be washed up," said a man visiting the Rock Hall. "But it was one of the best concerts I've seen in a long time," he added, stroking his greying beard.
"It is a very diverse group," said Jim Henke, curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "This group really shows the breadth of rock and roll," he added. "I mean you have everyone from hip-hop people to disco to rock to some of the early artists who influenced rock and roll."
The list of nominees is usually pared down to about five through a vote for which artist or group will move on to final selection as a member of the hall of fame. An artist must have recorded a first single or album at least 25 years before nomination.
The induction ceremony will be in March in New York City, which has been a sore point with people living in Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, the 2012 induction ceremony will be in Cleveland, where the term "rock and roll" was popularized by a radio disc jockey more about sixty years ago.
However, the term "rock and roll" had been around for many decades before that. It was used as a description of sex by many blues and rhythm and blues artists before it caught on with a wider group.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland celebrated its fifteenth anniversary last summer.
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