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Rockers Or Knights?

From Rod to Ringo, odds on which Brit rockers are set to be knighted

December 21, 2004 12:00 AM ET
When Eric Clapton was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire last month, he joined an elite group of British rockers, including Sting, Ray Davies and David Gilmour, who have received the royal honor. Generally awarded to scientists, civil servants and journalists, the CBE is one step below knight, which allows Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Elton John to use "Sir" in front of their names.

Considered the ultimate stamps of approval by high society, these citations haven't always been received well in the rock world. When Jagger was knighted last year, Keith Richards said he reacted with "cold, cold rage," and, if offered a knighthood, he would "tell them where they could put it." David Bowie refused his CBE in 2000. Following the ceremony, Clapton said, "As a kid, I would not have been able to accept this. I was against the establishment. Now I have grown up -- I really think it is an important thing to be able to set an example of some kind."

The betting experts at William Hill Bookmakers, a British firm that puts odds on everything from horse races to U.S. presidential elections, predict which rock stars are likely to follow in the footsteps of Sir Mick and Commander Clapton in the next decade.

Rod Stewart
Odds: 4 to 6
"He's proved himself at the highest level of rock music over a good long period," says firm spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Ringo Starr
Odds: even money
"Frankly, we were amazed he didn't have a CBE or higher honor already."

Charlie Watts
2 to 1
"He's conducted himself in a dignified manner throughout the Stones' career."

George Michael
Odds: 4 to 1
"He's suggesting he's going to give all future royalties to charity. But there are a few black marks."

Bono
Odds: 8 to 1
"He hasn't always been pro-government. And his Irish background could well not help his chances."

John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten)
Odds: 50 to 1
"Not a chance!"

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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