Does Neil Diamond belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

This year's inductees include the "Sweet Caroline" singer — oft maligned as cheesy — but not the arguably edgier Bon Jovi

Neil Diamond rocks out during the 2008 "Home Before Dark" tour.
(Image credit: Corbis)

Rolling Stone has announced this year's inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including Tom Waits, the Alice Cooper Band, Dr. John, and... crooner Neil Diamond. The inclusion of Diamond, the "king of drunken sing-alongs," has soured some music critics, especially since New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi were nominated but ultimately ignored. Does Diamond belong in the hallowed company of Chuck Berry, The Who, and Bob Dylan?

This cheesy crooner makes it a Hall of Shame: Putting "the easy-listening likes of Neil Diamond" into the Hall of Fame is "an affront" to rock music, says Michael Norman at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The singer was always more famous for his "chest-baring leisure suits and droopy bedroom eyes" than his music. Surely, there are "acts out there with stronger rock 'n' roll pedigrees...."

"Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubs: The Top 25 acts passed over for induction"

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Don't dismiss Diamond so glibly: Look past his "schlock factor," says Jim Beviglia at CultureMap Houston, and you'll find a "serious body of work." Diamond is an accomplished songwriter with "a hand in countless hits." His "Sweet Caroline" shows off this worthy inductee's "unerring sense of song structure, a lost art these days."

"The hits and misses of the new Rock and Roll of Fame class"

Forget Diamond. Why are women being ignored? I've no problem with this "motley crew" of eight inductees, says Sasha Brown-Worsham at The Stir, except for the fact it included only one woman: Darlene Love. "How does that seem fair?" Pat Benatar and Heart and surely worthy of consideration. Come on, Rolling Stone. "We need some estrogen up in here!"

"Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Where are the ladies?"

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