Thursday, September 2, 1999 Published at 03:52 GMT 04:52 UK
Van's the man for rock museum
Van Morrison: "Ireland's greatest living legend"
Rock legend Van Morrison has become the first musician to be inducted into the Irish Music Hall of Fame in Dublin.
The 54-year-old singer received the tribute from countryman Bob Geldof at a special ceremony on Wednesday night.
Morrison - best known for songs such as Brown Eyed Girl, Gloria and Moondance - performed at the event, which was hosted by poet Brendan Kennelly.
The venture seeks to recognise the very best of Irish musical talent over the decades, from traditional acts such as Christy Moore and The Dubliners, through to established acts like U2 and younger groups like Boyzone and Ash.
Morrison, who was born in Belfast, is the first big name to be inducted into the Hall of Fame - though others will follow, voted for by a panel of experts from the country's record industry.
Spokeswoman Cara Twohig said: "Members of the Hall of Fame have to have made a very signficant contribution to the music industry both here and abroad, and Van Morrison was an obvious first choice."
Hall of Fame director Niall Stokes - editor of the Hot Press music paper - said: "Van Morrison has been justifiably acknowleged as Ireland's greatest living legend, a multi-talented creative force who has created an astonishing body of work of great depth and beauty.
"We are honoured that he has agreed to be the first artist into the Hot Press Irish Music Hall of Fame."
Bob Geldof added: "I believe there is only one genius in Irish music, and that's Van Morrison."
The best-known music Hall of Fame is in the United States at Cleveland, Ohio. It has inducted scores of names since its inception in 1983, including Van Morrison in 1993.
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