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LL Cool J makes history as first rapper to be honored at Kennedy Center

Ralph Bristout

 // Aug 3, 2017

MSU Studio // The World Access

LL Cool J is no stranger to feats and history, all of which gets mentioned during his recent appearance on "Drink Champs."

That coveted list of accomplishments stretches wider now that LL Cool J has been announced as one of the 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees. As announced Thursday (August 3), LL was listed amongst the inductees, which include Lionel Richie, Norman Lear, Gloria Estefan, and Carmen de Lavallade, making him the first hip-hop artist to receive the award.

"I am blown away. This is the biggest musical award you can receive," the legendary Queens native told Washington Post following the announcement. Meanwhile, Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein praised the rapper, referring to him in a statement as "the landmark hip-hop artist" who "taught the world how to rhyme as one of the pioneers of the hip-hop phenomenon."

"Drink Champs" | LL Cool J (Full Episode)
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LL also reacted to the news on Instagram, calling it as a telling of example of the fact that "dreams don't have deadlines."

LL, Gloria Estefan, Lionel Richie, Carmen de Lavallade, and Norman Lear will receive the lifetime artistic achievement award at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C. in December.

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