- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Alice Cooper came into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a friend _ a boa constrictor.

The theatrical rock band with a lead singer who takes the same name was inducted Monday into the Hall of Fame. Her class includes New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John, Tom Waits, Neil Diamond, Darlene Love and Leon Russell.

Cooper wore a blood-splattered shirt and also brought school kids along to sing “School’s Out.” It all seemed appropriate for a band that inductor Rob Zombie said invented the rock show.

Says Cooper: “We’ve always been a hard rock band. We just wanted to decorate it a little differently.”

The work by the inducted artists will be celebrated in perpetuity at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

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Online:

http://www.rockhall.com

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) _ New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John wore a bright purple suit for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, leading a class with Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper and Tom Waits.

Singer Darlene Love, whose voice cut through Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound,” called her induction into the Hall her best 70th birthday present.

Pianist Leon Russell also was to be inducted at a black-tie dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan. A tape of the ceremony is to air March 20 on Fuse.

Dr. John said he felt “like I’m blessed to be singing, to be breathing.”

He was inducted by singer John Legend, who recalled meeting him at a benefit for Hurricane Katrina relief. Legend said the new Hall of Fame member has been a leading global ambassador for New Orleans and its special musical gumbo.

“He has never stopped flying the flag of funk,” Legend said. “Tonight, he is definitely in the right place at the right time.”

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