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Kennedy Center Honors celebrate first rapper LL Cool J, Gloria Estefan

WASHINGTON — LL Cool J will become the first rapper ever to be honored by the Kennedy Center this year. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced the recipients of the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors Thursday. 

Hip-hop artist LL Cool J, singers Gloria Estefan and Lionel Richie, television writer and producer Norman Lear and dancer Carmen de Lavallade made this year's list.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the awards, which honor people who have influenced American culture through the arts.

The honorees will be celebrated at a Dec. 3 gala, which will feature performances and tributes from top entertainers. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will attend. The show will be broadcast on CBS Dec. 26.

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