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Just under a month shy of his 50th birthday, veteran rapper and actor LL Cool J became the first Hip-Hop artist to receive the Kennedy Center Honor over the weekend. Joining the star born James Todd Smith were a number of other notables in receiving the award due to their contributions to American culture.

Along with LL Cool J, dance legend Carmen de Lavallade, singers Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan, and television producer Norman Lear were also recipients in the Saturday (Dec. 2) gala.

LL took to his Instagram account to celebrate the honor, and he was clearly grateful for the prestigious recognition.

“I believe that we are built to do anything we put our minds and proper actions to. You have all the tools inside you that are required for you to fulfill your GOD given purpose. This one is for those who came before me and those who followed me. We were sent to this planet to love and inspire one another,” LL wrote along with a picture from the site of the Kennedy Center.

Congratulations to the Queens legend.

Photo: Instagram