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Rock Hall Makes Room For Simon, Jackson

The hobbled Michael Jackson and 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 completed the list of honorees at a New York ceremony Monday night.

Jackson, already in the Hall of Fame with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5, was earmarked 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 induction. He broke his foot falling down the stairs recently, and, despite members of the audience pleading with him to sing, he didn’t oblige. He was inducted by members of ‘N Sync.

Of his former partner, Art 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 other.” After the audience applauded warmly, Simon deadpanned, “No rush.” Simon is also a Hall of Fame member for his work with Garfunkel.

Aerosmith, called “the greatest rock band in American history” by Detroit rocker Kid Rock, thanked their families. “Mom, when I finally get this out of my system, I’ll go to college,” said 49-year-old bass player Tom Hamilton. The ceremony, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, was being taped for telecast Wednesday on VH1.

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