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Entries in LL Cool J (5)

Wednesday
Apr102013

Paisley, LL Cool J Stand by ‘Accidental Racist’

Jerod Harris/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM(NEW YORK) -- It only took a few hours for a six-minute song about race to spark a backlash after its release Monday.

The song, recorded by the unlikely duo of Brad Paisley and LL Cool J and titled “Accidental Racist,” was slammed by music critics and fans alike for its attempt at a dialogue on race between two men from starkly different backgrounds. The song features lyrics including “If you don’t judge my do-rag … I won’t judge your red flag” and “If you don’t judge my gold chains … I’ll forget the iron chains.”

The country singer, 40, and his rapper counterpart, 45, say the national debate sparked by their song, released on Paisley’s new album, Wheelhouse, is exactly what they wanted to happen.

“I’m not really sure we’re going to find any answers but it was the idea that we were asking the question,” Paisley said in an exclusive interview with his duet partner that aired Wednesday on ABC's Good Morning America.

“Martin Luther King says that darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can,” LL Cool J said. “Hate can’t drive out hate, only love can. So what we’re talking about is compassion.”

“Accidental Racist” focuses specifically on how northerners like LL Cool J, who grew up in New York City, view southerners, like Paisley, a native of West Virginia, and vice versa.

“I’m not advising anyone to truly forget slavery, but what I’m saying is forget the slavery mentality,” LL Cool J said. “Forget the bitterness. Don’t get bitter, get better.”

Critics have been especially harsh on specific lines in the song, like LL Cool J singing “let bygones be bygones,” and Paisley singing that white Americans are “still paying for mistakes that a bunch of folks made before we came.”

“Some people take exception to some of the lyrics [and] I respect that,” LL Cool J said. “I’m sensitive to that.”

Paisley, for one, found out about the controversy from LL Cool J, who alerted him to the backlash after the video, in which LL Cool J plays a barista, was released on YouTube Monday.

“I got a call from this guy saying, ‘Have you seen anything?’” Paisley said, adding that LL Cool J went on to tell him to look at Twitter.  “I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to look at it.’”

Despite the backlash, the two stars, who will sing together again on LL Cool J’s next album, to be released later this month, say they are proud of the song and the discussion it is creating.

“Let’s not be victims of things that happened so long ago,” Paisley said.  “In the end, I felt like what we had on tape was something that people needed to hear.”

LL Cool J said, “At the same time, let’s respect it. But then after we respect it, let’s also open our hearts up so we can move forward.”

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

LL Cool J’s Alleged Intruder Charged with Burglary

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles County prosecutors Thursday charged a 56-year-old transient with first-degree burglary with a person present after he allegedly broke into the home of rapper-actor LL Cool J while he and his family were sleeping.

Jonathan A. Kirby was charged as a “third striker” in a felony complaint because of previous felony convictions in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Prosecutors are asking for bail to be set at $1.1 million.

Kirby remains hospitalized with a broken nose, jaw and ribs after an intruder broke into the Sherman Oaks, Calif., home of LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, at about 2 a.m. Wednesday and triggered an alarm.

No one else was hurt in the incident and nothing was stolen.

Smith, 44, heard noises while sleeping upstairs and went down to see what was happening, KABC reported. The famously fit star, who plays a special agent on NCIS Los Angeles, saw the intruder and quickly took him down.

Smith was able to hold down the intruder until authorities arrived.

“LL Cool J, and his family, are safe and thank everyone for their thoughts and concern. As a father, husband and citizen, he is committed to keeping his family safe and is cooperating with authorities on this private matter,” a representative for Smith said Wednesday.

Kirby’s arraignment will be announced later. If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 38 years to life in prison.

Under the moniker LL Cool J (an abbreviation for “Ladies Love Cool James”) Smith rose to fame as a rapper with hits including “Around the Way Girl”  and “Mama Said Knock You Out” in the 1980s and 1990s. He turned to acting in the 1990s and 2000s, appearing in films including Deep Blue Sea and S.W.A.T.

Smith took the role of Sam Hanna on the CBS show NCIS: Los Angeles in 2009.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug222012

LL Cool J Takes Down Intruder at Los Angeles Home

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Don’t mess with LL Cool J.

An intruder who broke into the 44-year-old rapper/actor’s Los Angeles-area home at approximately 2 a.m. today was taken down by the star, whose real name is James Todd Smith.

Smith, 44, heard noises while sleeping upstairs at his Studio City, Calif., home and went down to see what was happening, KABC reported. The famously fit star, who also happens to play a special agent on NCIS Los Angeles, saw the intruder and quickly took him down.

Smith was able to hold down the intruder until authorities arrived. Police told KABC that the suspect suffered a few bruises, but other than that, no one was hurt in the incident and nothing was stolen.

“LL Cool J, and his family, are safe and thank everyone for their thoughts and concern. As a father, husband and citizen, he is committed to keeping his family safe and is cooperating with authorities on this private matter,” a representative for Smith said.

Police said they are not releasing the name of the intruder at this time.

Under the moniker LL Cool J (an abbreviation for “Ladies Love Cool James”), Smith rose to fame as a rapper with hits like “Around the Way Girl” and “Mama Said Knock You Out” in the 1980s. He turned to acting in the 1990s and 2000s, appearing in films like Deep Blue Sea and S.W.A.T.

Smith took the role of Sam Hanna on CBS’ NCIS Los Angeles in 2009.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb132012

Grammy Awards Honors Whitney Houston

John Shearer/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- After an opening number by Bruce Springsteen, the 54th Grammy Awards addressed what was on every viewers' mind: the death of Whitney Houston the day before.

"There is no way around this," host LL Cool J said at the top of his monologue Sunday night.  "We've had a death in our family.  At least for me, the only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer...for our fallen sister, Whitney Houston."

With that, LL removed a piece of a paper from his jacket pocket and read a prayer thanking the "heavenly Father for sharing our sister Whitney with us."

"Although she is gone too soon, we feel truly blessed by her beautiful spirit," he said as the camera panned an audience of superstars, including Lady Gaga, with heads bowed.

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Grammy producers had to scramble to address Houston's death and assemble a tribute to the fallen star.  Hours after her passing, executive producer Ken Ehrlich announced that Jennifer Hudson would perform a "respectful musical tribute," along with Chaka Khan and possibly others.

In the end, Hudson took the stage solo a few minutes before 11 p.m for a stirring tribute to Houston, performing one of the fallen singer's biggest hits, "I Will Always Love You."

Hudson, a huge admirer of Houston's who said she was more blown away by receiving her first Grammy from Houston than the award itself, sang the first minute acapella, drawing applause from the audience.

Clearly holding back tears, she concluded the song with the words, "Whitney, we love -- we love you," and left the stage to rousing applause.

Less than an hour before the live show, Khan, who originally sang one of Houston's biggest hits, "I'm Every Woman," backed out.

"As I grieve the loss of my friend and 'little sister,' I don't feel it appropriate to perform at this time," the singer tweeted.  "Continue to pray for the family"

While welcoming the audience to the annual Grammy Awards, LL also addressed the pall that had obviously been cast by Houston's death Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

"There are moments in the history of this show we will remember for the rest of our lives," he said, introducing a clip of Houston singing "I Will Always Love You" at the Grammys in 1994.  Houston's performance brought the audience to their feet as LL declared, "Whitney we will always love you."

Then, giving the audience permission to let loose at what is traditionally one of the more lighthearted awards shows, LL said, "the Grammy Awards was one of Whitney's greatest joys ... let us all celebrate with joy the 54th Grammy Awards," adding that "the power of music is what brings us all here."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan182012

LL Cool J to Host Grammys; First Host in Seven Years 

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- If you can't remember who hosted the Grammys last year, that's OK -- the show didn't have a host.  In fact, it hasn't had one in seven years, but that's about to change.  It's just been announced that LL Cool J will do the honors for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, which will air live on CBS on Feb. 12.

LL has hosted the Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! specials since they began in 2008, but this is his first time on the big show.  In a statement, the rapper, actor and Grammy winner said, "I'm thrilled to be part of Music's Biggest Night. I will always have fond memories of my first Grammy Awards and to now be hosting the Grammy show, in the company of so many other incredible artists, is a dream come true."  He added, "Great performances and great music -- it's gonna be a great night!"

Performers on this year's telecast will include Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Foo Fighters, Jason Aldean and Nicki Minaj.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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