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Clapton, Raitt lead Hall class

First group of sidemen to be inducted

Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor, along with the bands the Lovin’ Spoonful, Earth, Wind and Fire and the Moonglows, will be inducted into the 15th class at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.

Nat King Cole and jazz vocalist Billie Holiday will be inducted as early influences, and Arista Records founder Clive Davis will go in as a non-performer.

Five musicians — saxophonist King Curtis, bass player James Jamerson, drummers Earl Palmer and Hal Blaine and guitarist Scotty Moore — will be honored in the first class of sidemen to be inducted.

Among those on the ballott who did make it in were Lou Reed, Steely Dan and the O’Jays. Ozzy Osbourne, the lader of Black Sabbath, had caused a stir by requesting that his band be removed from the ballot earlier this year.

The induction ceremony will be held March 6 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Artists and others become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record.

Guitar hero Clapton was inducted previously, in 1993, as a member of the band Cream.

Earth Wind & Fire’s cofounders Maurice White, Philip Bailey and Verdine White issued a statement saying “We feel very priveleged to be mentioned in the same breath as many of the artists in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which have stood the test of time.”

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