LL Cool J Will Be First Rapper Awarded at 2017 Kennedy Center Honors
LL Cool J might not be as focused on his musical career these days, but he's still earning some great honors for his contributions to the music community. The veteran Queens rapper will reportedly be the first rapper inducted into a superstar class at the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors this year.
Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, will be awarded at the ceremony on Dec. 3 for his "lifetime achievements of contributors to American culture." The "I Need Love" MC is joining the likes of pop stars Gloria Estefan, Lionel Richie, television icon Norman Lear and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade. All of the honorees of the evening, including LL, will sit alongside President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for the awards show,
Being that he is the first rapper to be awarded, as well as the youngest at age 49, this proves as the Kennedy Center Honor's further acknowledgement and embrace of hip-hop culture. Earlier this year, they appointed Simone Eccleston as its first director of Hip-Hop Culture, which followed after naming A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip as artistic director of Hip-Hop Culture in 2016.
The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C.
If you recall, last year, LL revealed that he had retired from rap, but claimed that he was "coming out of retirement" to work on a new album. So far, there's no word on when we can expect new music, but hopefully he's still cooking up some new bars for his loyal fan base.
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