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Thursday, March 4, 1999 Published at 12:35 GMT


Dusty set for rock immortality

Dusty Springfield joins other greats in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Dusty Springfield fan Elton John will host the ceremony that admits her to the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just days after she died.

Sir Elton has stepped in to present the Hall of Fame ceremony in New York on 15 March because of his admiration for the singer who lost her battle against cancer on Tuesday.

[ image: 'I had pictures of Dusty all over my walls' - Elton John]
'I had pictures of Dusty all over my walls' - Elton John
"I volunteered because I loved her so much," he said.

Sir Elton, who is currently on tour in the US, said she'd been the first performer he had ever idolised.

"Hers was the first fan club I belonged to. I had pictures of Dusty all over my walls," he said.

When he learnt of her death, Sir Elton sang one of Springfield's hits, I Only Want to Be With You, to an audience in Illinois as a tribute.

"Dusty, wherever you are, this one's for you, my love, with all my love," he said.

Hall of Fame honour

[ image: Sir Paul will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame on 15 March]
Sir Paul will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame on 15 March
The Hall of Fame was first set up in 1983 by music industry leaders in the US to recognise musicians who have had a big impact on "the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll."

Being admitted to the Hall of Fame is a great honour and other music stars to be inducted along with Dusty Springfield this year include British record producer George Martin, and Sir Paul McCartney.

The roll-call of rock music greats already includes names such as Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke and Elton John himself who was inducted in 1994.

The Rock and Roll Foundation will hold its 14th annual induction ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York .

More stars pay tribute

Tributes have continued to pour in for Dusty Springfield.

Fellow singer Sandie Shaw said: "I am deeply upset to hear of Dusty's death."

She added: "In the Sixties we were both rivals and friends, sharing a really unique experience.

"We were the first pop divas and the first emergence of Girl Power. I feel privileged to have been a contemporary of this feisty and talented woman."

The Pet Shop boys, who relaunched her career in the late 1980s, said they were proud to have worked with Britain's "greatest female singer".

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of the group said in a statement: "Dusty was a tender, exhilarating and soulful singer, incredibly intelligent at phrasing a song, painstakingly building it up to a thrilling climax. She was also a warm and funny person.

"We are proud to have been a small part of her fabulous career."

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