He was inducted Monday with Dr. John, Alice Cooper, Darlene Love, Leon Russell and Tom Waits at a ceremony in The Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. Paul Simon says Diamond’s entrance is 20 years too late.
The Brooklyn-born Diamond wrote pop-rock hits for himself (“Solitary Man”) and others (The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer”). Presidential daughter Caroline Kennedy was the inspiration for “Sweet Caroline,” now a Boston Red Sox anthem.
Diamond settled into a comfortable career as a middle-of-the-road concert favorite.
The work by the inducted artists will be celebrated in perpetuity at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
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.