NEW YORK – Here's something Madonna can really celebrate: a nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Madge joins heartland rocker John Mellencamp, the puckish rappers Beastie Boys and premier dance acts Donna Summer and Chic among the nine nominees for the hall. The five leading vote-getters will be inducted in the annual ceremony March 10, 2008, at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
The other nominees are rap pioneer Afrika Bambaataa, literate songwriter Leonard Cohen, the original British Invasion combo The Dave Clark Five and surf rock instrumentalists The Ventures.
The nominations illustrate how far the Hall of Fame has stretched its definition of rock 'n' roll to incorporate a variety of musical styles.
It's certainly the case with Madonna, the Detroit-area native who burst out of New York dance clubs in the early 1980s with "Holiday" and soon became a pop culture icon. She scored 17 Top 10 hits in the 1980s alone and is due to put out an album next year, working with the likes of Timbaland and Justin Timberlake.
The Beastie Boys molded punk rock and rap into the goofy hit "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right to Party." They became critical favorites and are still together, releasing an instrumental album this year.
Indiana's own Mellencamp can fill a barrel with rock hits like "Hurts So Good," "Pink Houses" and "R.O.C.K. in the USA." Like Chic and the Dave Clark Five, he's been nominated before without getting into the hall.
Some 500 musicians, industry professionals and journalists vote on the inductions.