NEW YORK (AP) - The hobbled Michael Jackson and a sweetly nostalgic Paul
Simon made their second entrances into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on
Monday, joined by fellow inductees Aerosmith, Queen and Steely Dan.
Fifties vocal group The Flamingos, soul singer Solomon Burke and ``La Bamba''
singer Ritchie Valens were also honored at a New York ceremony.
Jackson, already in the Hall of Fame with his brothers as a member of the
Jackson 5, was honored for a solo career that includes ``Thriller,'' which
Sony estimates has sold more than 47 million copies worldwide.
He wore a white suit with gold buttons and leaned on a cane as he accepted
his trophy. Jackson broke his foot falling down the stairs while dancing
recently, and, despite members of the audience pleading with him to sing, he
He was inducted by members 'N Sync, whose Lance Bass said Jackson was always
a man who inspired more questions than answers.
``To me, the gift of music has been a great blessing, from the time I was a
child,'' Jackson said.
Simon is also a Hall of Fame member for his work with Art Garfunkel. His solo
career has included hits such as ``Still Crazy After All These Years'' and
``Graceland,'' both of which he sang Monday.
Simon took 10 minutes to read a list of inspirations, from the first record
he bought by the singer Johnnie Ace, to his bandleader father and ``those two
girls in Covington, Ky.''
Of his former partner, Garfunkel, Simon said, ``I regret the ending of our
friendship, and I hope that one day before I die we will make peace with each
After the audience applauded warmly, Simon deadpanned, ``No rush.''
Aerosmith, called ``the greatest rock band in American history'' by Detroit
rocker Kid Rock, thanked their families for supporting a career that included
stardom, a steep fall and surprising resurrection. The band's new album
debuted this week at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, but they were honored for
work that included the prototype rock ballad, ``Dream On.''
``Mom, when I finally get this out of my system, I'll go to college,'' said
49-year-old bass player Tom Hamilton.
Lead singer Steven Tyler made a wry reference to the unflattering early
comparison of Aerosmith to the Rolling Stones and his own resemblance to
``I wonder if this will put an end to, `Hey, aren't you Mick Jagger?''' he
Queen, whose lead singer Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991, performed ``We
Will Rock You'' as a trio and invited Foo Fighter Dave Grohl to sing an
incendiary version of ``Tie Your Mother Down.'' It opened a ceremony that
started an hour late.
Mercury's mother, Jer Bulsara, accepted her late son's trophy.
Steely Dan was inducted by the techno-artist Moby, who said, ``They always
seemed different somehow. On the one hand, their music is warm and beautiful,
but on the other hand it is so unsettling.''
The reclusive duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, before performing
``Black Friday,'' asked the audience if it had any questions, then ridiculed
the only one shouted at them. Steely Dan's first album after nearly two
decades off, ``Two Against Nature,'' won the Grammy for album of the year
Soul king Burke, rising to the stage in a regal robe, said before performing,
``To all of my 21 children, 58 grandchildren and seven great-granchildren,
'Let's get it on.'''
Ricky Martin inducted Valens, the most prominent Latin rocker of rock's early
days, who died in the same 1959 plane crash.
The Flamingos were best-known for their lush, romantic ballad ``I Only Have
Eyes for You.'' Chris Blackwell, founder of I