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Wednesday, 8 December, 1999, 12:29 GMT
Clapton's Hall of Fame hat-trick
Guitar king: Eric Clapton will be honoured again
Guitarist Eric Clapton will be inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year - for the third time.

The 54-year old rock legend will join the US music industry's elite as a solo artist in March. He's already been inducted twice before as a member of the bands Cream and The Yardbirds.

The honour will come 30 years after he began his solo career, after performing in other acts such as Blind Faith and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.

Winner: Clapton has bounced back from tragedy several times
Born in Surrey, he has fought back from personal tragedy several times during his career, including drink and drug addictions in the 1970s, and the death of his four-year-old son Conor, who fell from a window in 1991. He was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 1995.

Other inductees for 2000 are funk stars Earth, Wind and Fire, 1960s band The Lovin' Spoonful, blues-folk star Bonnie Raitt, singer-songwriter James Taylor, and 1950s doo-wop act the Moonglows.

Founded by singer Maurice White in 1970, Earth Wind and Fire are still performing and touring, but their heyday was in the mid to late 1970s, with hits such as Shining Star, Got To Get You Into My Life and Boogie Wonderland.

The Lovin' Spoonful are best known in the UK for Summer In The City and Daydream, but the band's brief spell of popularity came to an end in 1967 after two members were charged with drug posession.

Bonnie Raitt's career began in 1971, but she is best known for her 1989 album Nick Of Time, which won three Grammys.

Hall of Fame facts
Founded in 1983
Artists become eligible 25 years after their debut
1,000 "rock experts" decide who is inducted
"Non-performers" such as DJs and producers can be included
1999's inductees included Sir Paul McCartney, Dusty Springfield and Curtis Mayfield
James Taylor, whose 1966 debut album was released on the Beatles' Apple label, has won a devoted following for his sensitive style and continues to perform.

The Moonglows were formed in 1952 and were championed by legendary disc jockey Alan Freed. They are still popular on oldies stations in the US.

Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday will be inducted as "Early Influences" while Clive Davis, founder of Arista Records, will be inducted as a non-performer.

Five other musicians will join a new "side-men" category; saxophonist King Curtis, bass player James Jamerson, guitarist Scotty Moore and drummers Earl Palmer and Hal Blaine.

The induction ceremony will be held on 6 March in New York.

See also:

25 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Record price paid for Clapton guitar
27 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Eric Clapton admits abusing wife
16 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Stars join Hall of Fame
01 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Van's the man for rock museum
13 Nov 98 | Entertainment
McCartney puts Linda in Hall of Fame
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