Alice Cooper, wearing snake, inducted into Rock Hall, along with Neil Diamond
Alice Cooper, a heavy metal "shock" rocker, Neil Diamond and more were inducted into the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday.
Cooper, 63, wore a fake blood-splattered shirt and brought children along to sing his hit 1972 song "School's Out" during the ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. He later thanked the crowd while wearing a live snake around his neck.
Tom Waits, Darlene Love, Dr. John and pianist Leon Russell were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Footage from the event is set to air on Sunday, March 20 on the Fuse cable channel. To receive the honor, a musician or band must have released its first batch of music at least 25 years ago.
At the ceremony, Rob Zombie introduced Cooper and his band by comparing the rockers to "a murderous gang of drag queens."
"We've always been a hard rock band," Cooper said. "We just wanted to decorate it a little differently."
Cooper had said in December that he and his band mates were happy to become the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "arch villains."
Also at the ceremony, Paul Simon praised Diamond, 70, who performed his 1969 hit "Sweet Caroline" as well as his songs "Cherry, Cherry" and "I Am ... I Said." Diamond, known for making mostly pop music, had said in December he does indeed see himself as a rock star and is happy to be among the "clowns in the circus" of rock and roll.
Cooper is known for his horror-oriented stage shows and dark make-up and for songs such as "Poison" and "Welcome To My Nightmare." The rocker, whose real name is Vincent Furnier and who heads the Alice Cooper Band, can often be seen in commercials and appeared in the movie "Wayne's World".
The hall has inducted more than 605 artists, including Phil Collin's old rock group Genesis and Swedish pop band ABBA. Others who made the cut this year include musicians Tom Waits, Dr. John and Darlene Love. They were chosen by more than 500 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and will be represented at the organization's museum in Cleveland, Ohio.