LL Cool J and Gloria Estefan make history with Kennedy Center honours

PFAW Applauds Founder Norman Lear for Receiving Kennedy Center Honors

The "All in the Family" creator told Variety Thursday that he plans to opt out of the Kennedy Center Honors pre-ceremony reception at the White House, where honorees are typically awarded their medals by the president.

The iconic musician/actor will be joined in the 2017 class by dancer Carmen de Lavallade, singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan, television writer/producer Norman Lear, and singer-songwriter Lionel Richie.

But while the Post's entertainment section took pains to note the historic significance of LL Cool J's inclusion, the paper's arts critic lamented the awards turn in recent years toward "commercial entertainment culture" (he also made the same case in a 2015 screed and last year on Twitter).

Per tradition, the honorees are expected to sit with President Trump and first lady Melania Trump as they watch performances and tributes at the Kennedy Center during the December ceremony.

Lear has long expressed his disdain for Trump.

Gloria Estefan is the first cuban-american to receive the award and, without a doubt, one of the most popular artists in the history of Latin music. "Norman's refusal to set foot in Donald Trump's White House is as powerful a reminder as any that the hate and bigotry that Donald Trump espouses on a daily basis isn't business-as-usual, it's a threat to the civic compact upon which this nation was founded".

Читайте также: Maria Sharapova withdraws from Stanford Classic with injury

LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, was hailed by Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein for having "taught the world how to rhyme as one of the pioneers of the Hip Hop phenomenon". "I'm not going to block my blessings or let the political divide stop me from embracing my art".

"I don't have any stunts planned".

But he admitted he has an open mind - if the President would open his own - saying that if Trump's stance on the arts shifted "maybe that will cause me to change my mind". "I knew where it existed in Archie Bunker and the American people found it".

Today, the 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees were announced and, among them, was LL Cool J. "And I am honored that it comes at an especially appropriate time".

Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, will be awarded at the ceremony on December 3 for his "lifetime achievements of contributors to American culture".

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