Nina Simone Among Rock Hall of Fame Inductees

Modern artists ranging from Elton John to Kanye West have credited Simone with influencing their work.

(Reuters) — The late Nina Simone, "Livin' on a Prayer" rockers Bon Jovi, British bands Dire Straits and the Moody Blues and The Cars will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, organizers said on Wednesday.

The rock-heavy 2018 list marks a return to the roots of the U.S. Hall of Fame, which for the past two years has broadened its base to welcome rap artists like the late Tupac Shakur and N.W.A.

Singer-songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone died in 2003 at age 70 after finding fame in the 1960s with songs like "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" and "Mississippi Goddam." Modern artists ranging from Elton John to Kanye West have credited her with influencing their work.

Bon Jovi, led by Jon Bon Jovi, formed in 1983 in New Jersey and remains one of the biggest acts in the U.S. music industry, releasing albums every couple of years. The band toured the United States in 2017 in support of its "This House is Not for Sale" album.

Dire Straits, led by guitarist Mark Knopfler, burst to fame in 1979 with the single "Sultans of Swing" and enjoyed a succession of hits in the 1980s including "Money for Nothing" and "Brothers in Arms." The band broke up in 1995 when Knopfler embarked on a solo career.

Progressive 1960s rockers Moody Blues are best known for hits like classical rock fusion "Nights in White Satin" and "Go Now." After several changes of lineup, the band is due to embark in January on a U.S. tour to mark the 50th anniversary of its "Days of Future Passed" album.

The Cars, formed in Boston in the late 1970s, merged rock and synthesizer-oriented pop to produce hits like "Drive" and "Just What I Needed" before breaking up in 1988. The band reunited in 2010, releasing the album "Move Like This," and toured in the United States in 2011.

The inductees were voted on by music fans and 900 music industry experts and will be inducted at a ceremony and performance show in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 14.

Artists who were nominated this year but not chosen for induction included British singer Kate Bush, alt-rock band Radiohead and the J.Geils band.

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