LL Cool J
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
LL Cool J Makes Kennedy Center Honors Hip-Hop History
LL Cool J is an accomplished TV star, GRAMMY host and an iconic GRAMMY-winning rapper. For his numerous achievements, he is adding another honor to his collection: the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.
LL Cool J's award is a significant benchmark because he is the first-ever hip-hop artist to receive the honor. In addition, at age 49, he's the youngest honoree in the award's history.
"To knock the door down for a new genre — the word is just 'dope!'" said LL Cool J, who hosted the GRAMMY Awards from 2012 to 2016. "To be able to come from the corner of Farmers Boulevard in Queens, banging on a garbage can, all the way to the Kennedy Center Honors, that's a long journey."
This year, the Kennedy Center Honors celebrate 40 years of recognizing performing artists in all mediums — from television to dance, comedy and music — who have made outstanding contributions to the arts during their careers. Over the years, other GRAMMY winners such as Led Zeppelin, Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin, and Buddy Guy have also been honored.
The 2017 awards will be held at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 3. They will air on CBS, the home of the 60th GRAMMY Awards, on Dec. 26 at 9 p.m. ET.