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The Stooges and Patti Smith also in the running

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R.E.M. have been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.

Rock veterans Van Halen, the Stooges and Patti Smith are also nominated for the rock honour.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, artists must have released music for a minimum of 25 years. This years nominees all released a single in 1981 or before.

There are nine acts in total on the ballot for the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, to be held on March 12 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

The other acts nominated for induction are the Ronettes, the Dave Clark Five, Chic, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and soul singer Joe Tex.

Five artists will be chosen for the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and these will be announced in January.

Blondie, Black Sabbath, Miles Davis, the Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd and record moguls Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss were inducted in the Hall of Fame this year.

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