LL Cool J has one of the most prolific modern-day careers spanning three decades, and crossing over rap, acting, fashion and pop genres. He recently took his talent to the stage and hosted the 2012 Grammy Awards, making a poignant opening prayer after the sudden death of pop icon, Whitney Houston.
Since LL Cool J has been in the public eye for so long, people might think they know everything about this celebrity. But there's definitely some interesting fun-facts about him you may not already know. So here's a list of five things you might not know about the rapper turned actor.
His signature lip licking is actually a nervous habit
LL's lip licking is thought to be something sexy he does while looking into the camera, but it's actually a nervous habit he picked up when he was a kid. He managed to get it to work to his advantage and make it one of his trademarks.
He was the first rapper to ever appear on MTV's "Unplugged"
As the popularity of MTV's acoustic concert series soared, featuring bands like Pearl Jam and artists like Eric Claption, LL Cool J was the first rapper to take to the stage and perform rap acoustically. One of his biggest hits, "Mama Said Knock You Out" is still one of the most downloaded performances of the show ever.
He wrote a children's book
The rapper merged music and a story about sportsmanship into his children's book, "And the Winner Is..." A story about a new kid named Zack wanting to join the basketball team, was written in rhyme and quickly became a very popular book among kids. He would also go on to write three more books across various genres including an autobiography and fitness book.
An African Tribe named him Chief
When LL went on to fund a much needed hospital on the African country of Ivory Coast, he was given the title of Chief Kwasi Achi-Bru back in 1987. Since then, he has continued to provide much needed aid to African countries.
The Grammy Awards weren't his first award show hosting gig
Back in 2001 he received luke warm reviews for hosting the American Music Awards with Britney Spears. Eleven years later, however, he's improved quite a bit as he's bringing in pretty stellar reviews for his hosting work on the Grammys.
LL Cool J is proof that while you can have a career that spans decades, there is always something more to the person that can be interesting to know. What fact about him surprised you the most?
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- Grammy Awards