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U2 makes Hall of Fame
15/03/2005 08:13  - (SA)  


Catherine Zeta Jones and Bono before the start of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (Julie Jacobson, AP)

New York - U2 was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, joined by the O'Jays, Percy Sledge, The Pretenders and Buddy Guy.

Bono worked the crowd on Monday at Manhattan's swank Waldorf Astoria, kissing BB King and posing for a photograph with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

U2 was scheduled to perform five songs, including I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and Vertigo.

The O'Jays is best known for its work with Philly soul producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, but the gospel-styled singers are actually from Canton, Ohio. Back Stabbers was a big hit in 1972, with Love Train and For the Love of Money other well-known songs.

After film clips showed the band in wild tuxes during the 1970s, the quartet wore simple black suits to perform a medley including each of those songs. The band was inducted by singer Justin Timberlake.

Original members Eddie Levert and Walt Williams are still active, and they were to be inducted with the late William Powell, retiree Bobby Massey and Sammy Strain.

If nothing else, Sledge's voice has been the backdrop to countless romantic encounters. The Southern soul singer is best known for When a Man Loves a Woman.

First year on the ballot

Singer Rod Stewart called it "one of the best performances I've ever heard and I'm sure you've ever heard".

When he's not haggling with politicians over Third World debt, U2's Bono can sing a pretty mean rock 'n' roll song. The Irish quartet, which is quickly selling out arenas for a autumn concert tour, is one of those rare acts still at the forefront of the music scene at the time of its induction.

Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jun won a best rock performance Grammy last month for Vertigo. U2 hasn't lost its creative edge since forming as Dublin teenagers, starting with rock anthems like Sunday Bloody Sunday, exploring American roots music, performing introspective ballads like One and reaching the top with Beautiful Day.

Needing at least 25 years as recording artists to be eligible, U2 was voted into the rock hall in its first year on the ballot.

The Pretenders came from the same rock generation as U2. Ohio native Chrissie Hynde was a tough but tender role model for women, singing Brass in Pocket, Precious and Back on the Chain Gang.

The band formed after Hynde moved to London to be part of its fertile music scene. She's soldiered on, with drummer Martin Chambers, after guitarists James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon died as drug casualties.

Guy dominated the Chicago blues guitar scene, and he'll be ushered into the hall by some pretty decent guitar players themselves - Eric Clapton and BB King.

Musicians, industry professionals and journalists vote on the inductees. Hall of fame members are permanently enshrined in Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

On the net:

  • www.rockhall.com


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