Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lifts velvet rope for 2008 inductees

The third nomination was the charm for both John Mellencamp and The Dave Clark Five. Those artists, along with The Ventures, Leonard Cohen and Madonna, comprise the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2008.
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The third nomination proved to be the charm for John Mellencamp and The Dave Clark Five.

Those artists, along with The Ventures, Leonard Cohen and Madonna, comprise the Class of 2008 inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To be eligible, artists must have issued a first single or album at least 25 years before nomination.

“The 2008 inductees are trailblazers — all unique and influential in their genres,” said Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation President and CEO Joel Peresman. “From poetry to pop, these five acts demonstrate the rich diversity of rock and roll itself. We are proud to honor these artists and celebrate their contribution to rock and roll’s place in our culture.”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also announced the induction of Little Walter in its sideman category. The newly named “Ahmet Ertegun Award” (formerly the non-performer category) will be presented to legendary producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

The inductees are honored in more than name only. The Hall of Fame will include artifacts from the inductees, create a multimedia presentation with highlights from each artist’s career and have their signatures permanently engraved in the glass walls of the Hall of Fame.



A panel of 600 industry figures selected the inductees. An induction ceremony will be held March 10, 2008, in New York. The event will air live on VH1 Classic.

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With the 1966 release of In My Life by Judy Collins, containing Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” and “Dress Rehearsal Rag,” Cohen became a folk rock icon of the singer songwriter movement.

An acclaimed poet and novelist in his native Canada, Cohen moved to New York in 1967 and released his classic album Songs of Leonard Cohen on Columbia Records. Cohen’s elegiac work is widely used in film and covered by artists from Jeff Buckley to Bono to Bob Dylan to R.E.M.

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One of the most successful British Invasion bands of the ‘60s, The Dave Clark Five — Dave Clark, Lenny Davidson, Rick Huxley, Denis Payton and Mike Smith — topped the U.K. charts in 1965 with the iconic pop song “Glad All Over.”

The group’s slick melodic sensibility masked their boom factor: The DC5 were the loudest group in the U.K. until The Who. In just three years, The Dave Clark Five hit the Top 40 charts 17 times and logged more appearances on the Ed Sullivan show than the Beatles or the Rolling Stones.

The group, which disbanded in 1970, has sold more than 50 million records.

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Madonna Louise Ciccone signed with Sire Records in 1982 and became one of MTV’s first stars.

Armed with corsets and cone-shaped bras, a racy sex book, controversial videos and the ability to reinvent herself at the drop of a hat, Madonna has simultaneously captivated fans, freaked out parents, drawn ire from religious leaders and alienated a corporate suitor during her decades in the limelight.

In the ‘80s alone, she racked up seven #1 hits (starting with “Like a Virgin”), as well three #1 albums and 17 Top 10 hits, more than any other woman that decade.

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He’s changed his name a few times along the way, but John Mellencamp’s musical message never has wavered.

With hits like “Pink Houses,” “Hurts So Good”and “I Need a Lover,” Mellencamp’s music has become the soundtrack for the hopes, st