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Hip Hop Legends gets Star
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
By Lea Michelle Cash/Celebrity Showcase/Published 1/28/2016
LL Cool J has sold millions of records. He has received nine Grammy nominations, winning two and has hosted three Grammy Awards celebrations. The executives responsible for the Recording Academy now call him a family member. In a recent ad in Variety Magazine, the ad’s message said, “Talk about Street Cred. No one is more deserving of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You are a star in the studio, on TV and, of course as the inspiring host of the Grammy Awards. Congratulations LL, from your Grammy Family.”
Those were the sentimental thoughts recently on Thursday, January 21, 2016, coming from thousands of fans gathered on Hollywood Blvd, as a visually emotional icon whose birth name is James Todd Smith, took center stage to receive the accolades that Hollywood was ready to give him as LL Cool J—a super hero in Hip Hop.
LL publicly thanked a long line of people starting with a man named Rick Rubin. He was 16 years old when Rubin gave him his first break and introduced him to Russell Simmons. Born in New York, since the age of nine, LL Cool J has simply wanted to be a rapper. His grandparents supported and believed in his dream and purchased his first recording systems. At age 17, with nothing but a dream and a beat, he received his first recording break with Def Jam Records, as their flagship artist. The rest is legendary Hip Hop history.
After four decades of making music, at the age of 48, he has accomplished his dreams, and has found trailblazing success crossing into multiple mediums as an actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. His accomplishments and achievements are many.
He currently stars in the CBS hit primetime drama series, “NCIS: Los Angeles,” which is currently in its seventh season. Lauded as one of the most successful show launches ever, and sold into syndication after only seven episodes, his performance on the show has garnered him a NAACP Image Award four years in a row, from 2011 – 2014, for his role of ‘Special Agent Sam Hanna.’ The popular TV show is licensed in more than 200 territories around the world and translated or dubbed into dozens of languages.
Its been said that more than the numerous accolades that he has received, the Hip Hop icon has changed lives, and saved lives. He is an avid philanthropist involved in numerous causes including literacy for kids as well as music and arts programs in schools. Celebrating with 12th Anniversary this year, his charity “Jump & Ball” – which takes place every August in his hometown of Queens, New York, LL Cool J give back to his local community by offering a five-week athletic and team building program dedicated to bringing wholesome fun to young people.
To assist with the presentation of LL receiving the 2,571st Walk of Fame Star were Queen Latifah and Sean “Diddy” Combs. Magic Johnson, Russell Simmons, and Mike Tyson were also among the invited guest. Queen Latifah, remembering her past stated, “LL is the greatest of all time and he will forever live in our hearts. He represents me and where I came from. I remember it just like yesterday. He set the bar from day one. He is a true man of character and heart.” Diddy spoke of the times, he and LL passed out flyers in the clubs, and how they would tell each other to stay focused. In closing the ceremony, LL final words, “If a task is once begun never leave it til it’s done; be its labor great or small, do it well or not at all. Thank you, Grandma.”