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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Honors Hip-Hop Act for First Time

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the United States has honored a hip-hop act for the first time in its history.

American rappers Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five were accepted into the Hall of Fame Monday at a ceremony in New York. Grandmaster Flash, whose real name is Joseph Saddler, helped establish record-scratching as a hip-hop technique.

The Hall of Fame also inducted 1980s icons R.E.M. and Van Halen. R.E.M. was introduced at the event by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, who praised the band's music as "truly all-encompassing."

Only two Van Halen members turned up for the show - singer Sammy Hagar and former bass player Michael Anthony. Original lead singer David Lee Roth stayed away after disagreeing on what to perform at the event, while guitarist Eddie Van Halen is in rehab.

Other artists honored Monday included 1960s girl group "The Ronettes" and punk rock poet Patti Smith, who sang her biggest hit, "Because the Night" (co-written with Bruce Springsteen).

Artists become eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame 25 years after releasing their first record.

The inducted artists are represented in a permanent exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.