01/09/2007 at 09:00 AM EST
Van Halen, Patti Smith, the Ronettes, R.E.M. and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five are the latest acts to be tapped for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"R.E.M. and myself in particular are really terrible at looking backward. We kind of as a band continually look forward so it's really fantastic that someone, especially the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, are looking backward to recognize the work that we've done," R.E.M lead singer Michael Stipe told the Associated Press.
R.E.M.'s members include Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Stipe, who added, "I'm just really honored that they thought of us."
The "they" is a panel of 600 musicians, industry professionals and journalists. To become eligible, artists must have issued a first single or album at least 25 years before the nomination.
The Van Halen band members set for induction are Alex and Eddie Van Halen, Mitchell Anthony, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – Kid Creole, Cowboy, Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Mr. Ness, Raheim – are the first rappers to be inducted into the hall.
The Ronettes are Estelle Bennett, Nedra Talley and Ronnie Spector, who was married to the group's producer Phil Spector – who faces a March 5 murder trial in the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.
Smith is known as the Godmother of Punk.
Also to be honored is the late Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, who helped create the Hall and was himself a non-performer inductee in 1987.
The 22nd annual induction ceremony will be held March 12 in New York.