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Diversity marks 25th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class

Iggy Pop performs during the Rock and Roll

Iggy Pop performs during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York. (March 15, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

Moments after delivering a heartfelt acceptance speech and fighting back tears as he remembered his late bandmates in The Stooges, Iggy Pop was stripping off his expensive suit and belting out "I Wanna Be Your Dog."

It doesn't get more rock and roll than that.

Though the 25th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee class is one of its most eclectic - Swedish pop group ABBA, reggae pioneer Jimmy Cliff, prog rockers Genesis, British Invasion rockers The Hollies, and punk pioneers The Stooges - the gathering at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel last night ended up being one of its most straightforward celebrations of rebellion and diversity.

During The Stooges' set, the Waldorf's Grand Ballroom became a bit like CBGB, with Pop inviting the audience to join them onstage to scream along. All of Green Day, parts of Pearl Jam and assorted audience members filled the stage, screaming "Now, I wanna be your dog!"

Other inductees talked about how thrilled they were to have finally been recognized by the Rock Hall. Genesis' Phil Collins said he was happy to be part of such a varied class. "It seems to be more of a cross-section of music," he said.

ABBA's Anni-Frid Lyngstad said she was happy to be inducted because so few women are in the Hall of Fame. "Only 18 percent of the inductees are female," she said. "I'm very proud to be one of them."

"These awards are so important because they remind people of the importance of music," said Carole King, who inducted the songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, Mort Shuman, Otis Blackwell and Jesse Stone Monday night.

"We are all here to celebrate the music that gave us our lives," said the Rock Hall's chairman Jann Wenner, in front of a star-studded audience that included Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, and presenters including Wyclef Jean and Steven Van Zandt. "When we were weak and lonely, this music gave us strength and comfort."

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