U.S. performer-turn-actor LL Cool J became the first rapper to receive the Kennedy Center Honor, on Saturday.
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The seasoned actor and television host was celebrated with the award – the highest recognition of members of the entertainment industry in the United States.
“An unforgettable evening... I will remember and cherish this honor for the rest of my life,” he posted online.
LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, has starred on CBS' NCIS since 2009 and hosted the Grammy awards for the past five years as well as Lip Sync Battle since 2015.
“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,” the artist wrote on social media.
Last year, the actor received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The 49-year-old former child star shared, on Instagram, that he recently completed the Business of Entertainment Media & Sports program at Harvard University.
He also holds an honorary doctorate from Northeastern University, which he received in 2014.
Iconic singer-songwriter Lionel Richie, veteran performer Gloria Estefan, dancer Carmen de Lavallade and prolific televison program creator Norman Lear were among the honorees.