The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce presented the 2571st star on the Walk of Fame this morning to James Todd Smith, or more commonly known as, LL Cool J.
LL Cool J began his career when he was introduced as a 16-year-old rapper in 1984. Since then, he has become the first rapper to win 10 consecutive platinum albums and has branched into acting and philanthropy. He is currently seen hosting “Lip Sync Battle,” a show executively produced by Jimmy Fallon and airs on Spike.
For the presentation of his star, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, Leron Gubler, began the ceremony with some background information on LL and his rise to fame in the entertainment industry. He also presented the guest speakers who would account for LL’s success and influence in the rap and hip-hop genre and his connection with those he met. The speakers were Queen Latifah and Sean “Diddy” Combs.
Latifah gave a light-hearted and comedic speech about LL. She said that LL was a “true man of character” who has “been setting the bar from day one for everyone.” She also said how she admired him when he first started music and how she felt as if he was representing her and the life she knew through is music. She took the time to talk about his family and the support she sees from them.
“I might be getting a pair of earrings, cause I’m laying it thick.” Latifah said, which seemed to lighten the crowd.
She ended her speech and said that with this star, “[he] will inspire more and more people” and that she was “so proud of [him], [he] deserves it.”
Combs was the next to speak. He talked about how he had the “honor to manage this man’s career,” then adding that it was only for a short time. He talked about his admiration for the artist’s growth as a person and entertainer, referring to him as a “superhero” when he first met him. Comparing his past with his present, Combs said that LL has come a long way.
“What [he’s] been able to do has been a leading example for all of us.” Combs said.
Once LL took the stage himself to give his acceptance speech, he said he was “very emotional” and “speechless.” He began to thank everyone who he has come across along the way and how he “really truly deeply appreciates” all those who helped bring the ceremony together. With that, the star was unveiled and LL took his first photos as a Hollywood “Walk of Famer.”