LL Cool J became the first rapper to receive a Kennedy Center Honor at a ceremony in Washington, DC tonight. Singer Gloria Estefan, musician Lionel Richie, television producer Norman Lear, and dancer Carmen de Lavallade were also among this year’s honorees. “I am blown away. This is the biggest musical award you can receive,” LL Cool J told The Washington Post. “To be recognized by your country, and to be able to represent hip-hop as an art form is amazing. I’m surprised, grateful, humbled and honored.” At 49, he ties with Stevie Wonder as the youngest artist to receive the award. Notably, tonight’s gala is also the first time that neither the current president nor the first lady has attended the Kennedy Center Honors; in August, Donald Trump announced that he would not be attending after multiple honorees threatened to boycott the event if he were present.
I believe that we are built to do anything we put our minds and proper actions to. You have all the tools inside you that are required for you to fulfill your GOD given purpose. This one is for those who came before me and those who followed me. We were sent to this planet to love and inspire one another. Manifest our dreams and make them a reality. I hope you’re inspired by me because I’m absolutely Inspired by you. Mic check 1212 Let’s ride!! 🎤 #KCHonors #StateDepartmentDinner #hiphop