Surprise! When it comes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, there are never any sure things - not even Bon Jovi, who was just named 2010's biggest touring act in the world on Tuesday.
This year's class, announced Wednesday morning, includes the original shock rocker Alice Cooper, the multifaceted Neil Diamond, New Orleans piano man Dr. John, '60s girl-group queen Darlene Love and singer-songwriter Tom Waits, all of whom have been eligible for induction for more than a decade. Diamond - whose career includes everything from stadium sing-along "Sweet Caroline" to "Dreams," this year's alt-country collection of covers - has been eligible for nearly two decades.
"I thought about it occasionally," Diamond told The Associated Press. "But I kind of figured they'd get around to me at some point."
With a class filled with artists from the longtime nominees list, the relative newcomers - including Bon Jovi, Manhasset's LL Cool J, Brooklyn's Beastie Boys, Chic, Donna Summer and J. Geils Band - remain on the outside, along with KISS, who didn't even make the nominee list this year after spawning protests when they didn't make the cut last year.
Cooper, best known for such metal anthems as "School's Out," and who has been eligible for 16 years, offered some perspective. "You know it crosses your mind, but then you think of all the guys who aren't in there, some of them before you, and you go, 'Wow.' . . . You realize that it's a waiting game," he told The Associated Press. "I don't think you sit around, holding your breath on it."
This year's class, which also includes Leon Russell receiving the Musical Excellence Award and Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman and Specialty Records founder Art Rupe receiving the Ahmet Ertegun awards, will be inducted at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan on March 14. The ceremony will air on Fuse.