THE Smiths are to be inducted into the rock'n'roll hall of fame in America next year, I can exclusively reveal, and the four band members could be on the same stage for the first time since their messy split in 1987.
The Manchester band, who helped put Strangeways and Salford Lads Club on the world map, are to be honoured by the Hall of Fame in a lavish ceremony planned for early next year, my spies tell me.
The entire band may make the trip for the induction, although judging by bass player Andy Rourke's reaction nothing is yet set in stone.
He tells me: "You never know what may happen. I don't know if we'll all go over there for the induction or not.
"It might just be Morrissey with three cardboard cut-outs. We'll just have to wait and see what happens."
If they do play on stage it will be regarded as a miracle after the bitter court case over performing royalties in 1996.
At the award ceremony they will be expected to give an acceptance speech in which most toast their peers and forebears in rock and follow it with a once-in-a-lifetime live performance as a tribute.
Artists are only eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record - meaning the time will be ripe for The Smiths next year, as their debut single Hand In Glove, was released in 1983. If they are inducted, The Smiths will join greats like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who among the elite of pop. Ceremonies have featured many unforgettable moments such as when Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen shared the same stage or when Santana performed Black Magic Woman with ex-Fleetwood Mac member Peter Green, the song's composer and original performer.
The artists are further honoured when they are featured in the Museum's Hall of Fame exhibit, which includes a computerised juke box containing virtually every song of every performer inductee and a film on three huge screens recounting their careers and music.
The 2008 inductees will not be officially revealed until late this year.