World News

LL Cool J Becomes First Rapper To Earn Kennedy Center Honor

LL Cool J Becomes First Rapper To Earn Kennedy Center Honor

But the ceremony was missing one aspect of its usual pomp: a White House reception with the President and First Lady, Reuters reports. Officials said he's also the youngest-ever Kennedy Center Honors recipient at 49.

The biggest one was President Donald Trump's decision not to attend. The gala will air on CBS on December 26, CNN wrote.

"This is the first time in my life I said no, and something in my soul, I've never felt that before - said no, no more", de Lavallade, the Yale Repertory Theatre instructor, told the newspaper. In August, Trump announced that he would not attend, after a number of nominees publicly threatened to boycott the event if he was present.

More news: US Forces Participate in Military Maneuvers in South Korea

Others, though, stayed away from politics.

In addition to the three recording artists, 86-year-old actress and dancer Carmen de Lavallade, and television producer Norman Lear, 95, were accorded Kennedy Center Honors Saturday, Reuters says.

"I think it's about the love the culture", LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, told USA Today. To be recognized by your country, and to be able to represent hip-hop as an art form is fantastic. LL told Ellen DeGeneres in September that "it would have been tough" for him if Trump had chose to attend, and that the president's presence "would've been a distraction, and it would've been more about who's standing next to who and less about the actual art form and the hip-hop that I worked my heart out over these years to do what I'm doing".


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