Pioneering rapper LL Cool J will host the first ever live 38th NAACP Image Awards in March, organizers announced today (Feb. 5).
LL, born James Todd Smith, is a previous recipient of the NAACP Image Award and has sold tens of millions of records since launching his career in 1985 at the age of 17, as an artist on the Def Jam label.
This year, the NAACP Image Awards will honor three famed individuals, each known for their activism around the world.
CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, who will receive the President’s Award, U2 frontman and activist Bono will receive the NAACP Chairman’s Award, while legendary comedian, actor, author and past Image Award winner Bill Cosby will be inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame.
“We are pleased and honored to have LL Cool J host our first live telecast,” said Vicangelo Bulluck, executive producer of the telecast. “His humor, intelligence and incredible talent will make the awards an exciting evening to remember.”
LL Cool J is putting the final touches on his 13th album, which has officially been titled Exit 13 and is scheduled to hit stores in May.
The 38th Annual NAACP Image Awards will air live on Friday, March 2 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.