Kennedy Cen­ter’s hon­orees re­vealed

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

WASH­ING­TON — Rap­per LL Cool J is set to be­come the first hip-hop artist to be cel­e­brated at the Kennedy Cen­ter Hon­ors, one of the top awards in the US arts that marks its 40 th an­niver­sary this year.

Cuban-Amer­i­can singer Gloria Este­fan, soul singer Lionel Richie, tele­vi­sion writer and pro­ducer Nor­man Lear, and dancer and chore­og­ra­pher Car­men de Laval­lade are the other 2017 hon­orees, or­ga­niz­ers an­nounced on Thurs­day.

The awards cer­e­mony at the Kennedy Cen­ter will take place on Dec 3.

LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, was hailed by Kennedy Cen­ter chair­man David Ruben­stein for hav­ing “taught the world how to rhyme as one of the pi­o­neers of the hip-hop phe­nom­e­non”.

The 49-year-old New Yorker is seen as one of the pi­o­neers of pop rap and was the first rap­per to gain 10 con­sec­u­tive plat­inum-plus sell­ing al­bums.

He has par­layed his suc­cess into an act­ing ca­reer, with a long-run­ning star­ring role in NCIS: Los An­ge­les.

“To be the first rap artist hon­ored by the @ken­cen is be­yond anything I could have imag­ined. Dreams don’t have dead­lines. God is great,” tweets the rap­per-ac­tor, whose moniker stands for “Ladies Love Cool James.”

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