May 17, 2022

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The Car & Automotive Devotees

Alice Cooper to be honored with special Arizona license plate

4 min read

Legislation was recently signed to create a new “youth music and art” license plate that will honor Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers.

PHOENIX — Alice Cooper told us “no more Mr. Nice Guy,” and yet Arizona keeps finding reasons to celebrate his charitable niceness.  

Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed a piece of legislation that calls for creating a specialty license plate honoring “youth music and art.” 

State Rep. Joseph Chaplik, R-Scottsdale, introduced the bill and said the license plate will specifically benefit Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers, a local nonprofit promoting music education. 

“Alice Cooper has spent decades generously giving of himself to benefit Arizona charities and communities,” Chaplik said in a statement.

The Arizona Department of Transportation offers dozens of specialty license plates that accumulate funds for local nonprofits. There are currently plates benefiting Girl Scouts, the Arizona Historical Society, and Make-a-Wish Arizona.

It costs $25 to install a special license plate and at least $17 of the funds are directed to a charity. 

Cooper, who lives in the Valley and spent much of his youth growing up in Arizona, opened the first rock center in 2012 and a second followed in 2021.

The centers have rehearsal rooms, art studios, and musical instruments available for students to practice free of charge.

Cooper has previously said he’d like to someday open a center in every major Arizona city. 

The 74-year-old rock star formed his first band, The Spiders, with his classmates at Phoenix’s Cortez High School in the 1960s. 

Within the next decade, he’d rebrand himself as Alice Cooper and achieved massive success with songs like “School’s Out,” “I’m Eighteen,” and “Poison.” 

The so-called “Godfather of Shock Rock” has since become a pop culture icon and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, hosted radio shows, and even made a memorable cameo in “Wayne’s World.”

RELATED: Songs about Arizona, for Arizonans: Follow the 12 News Spotify page

Since Cooper has now opened the door for memorializing rock stars on Arizona’s license plates, 12 News has some suggestions for other musicians who are worthy of potentially honoring on the backs of our cars. 

Here’s five more rockers with Arizona ties who’d make a great license plate cover:

The frontwoman of Fleetwood Mac was born in Phoenix and spent her youth moving across the Southwest. As her solo career was ramping up in the early 1980s, Nicks built a home near her parents in Paradise Valley. 

According to the Arizona Republic, Nicks was a key figure in raising money for the Arizona Heart Foundation’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Building. She’s notably the first woman to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Known as the “Arizona Cowboy,” Rex Allen was a prolific singer and actor in the 1950s. He released a dozen country albums before he died at the age of 78 in Tucson in 1999. 

His hometown of Willcox has a museum dedicated to preserving Rex Allen-themed memorabilia. 

The British lead singer of Judas Priest has maintained a home in the Valley for decades while continuing to tour around the world. 

Nicknamed “Metal God” by his many fans, Halford became a prominent role model for the LGBTQ community after he disclosed his sexuality on MTV in 1998.

Halford later said he had to open an office in Arizona to process all the grateful letters from queer fans who thanked him for speaking publicly about his sexuality, according to Esquire.

Before his death in 2017, Chester Bennington was one of alternative rock’s most prolific singers and songwriters. 

The Phoenix native achieved commercial success as the lead vocalist for Linkin Park, selling millions of records and winning dozens of awards. 

But Bennington struggled with mental health problems and died by suicide at the age of 41. The “One More Light” charity fund was established in Bennington’s memory to collect donations for raising awareness of mental health issues.

One of the most successful rock singers of the 1970s, Linda Ronstadt was first influenced by the traditional Mexican music her family would sing at her childhood home in Tucson. 

She later ventured out to California and started performing alongside Jackson Browne and the Eagles before Ronstadt achieved success as a solo act. 

After winning several Grammys and recording dozens of records, Ronstadt retired from music in 2011 due to illness. 

RELATED: Music hall will be renamed after Arizona native Linda Ronstadt

RELATED: Alice Cooper talks about his life during the coronavirus pandemic

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