Rapper To Host
Grammy Awards

LL Cool J will host the 2012 Grammy Awards next month. The MC-turned-actor is the first star to emcee the telecast in seven years.

This just in: LL Cool J has been tapped to host the 2012 Grammy Awards next month. It will be the first time in seven years that the show has had a host.

The hip-hop legend-turned-actor, a two-time Grammy winner himself, has been asked to do the honors after hosting the live Grammy nominations concert show every year since its inception in 2008.

LL was "bustin' rhymes" on wax when you were still a twinkle in your mother's eye. These days, he keeps busy busting criminals on CBS' crime hit NCIS: Los Angeles.

But he's never too busy to return to his musical roots.

"I'm thrilled to be part of Music's Biggest Night," says the "Mama Said Knock You Out" lyricist, who turned 44 this week. "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."

The gig will be a less death-defying change of pace from LL's action-packed work on the small screen, where the star prides himself as something of a daredevil.

"I do about 90 percent of my own stunts and the things I can't do for insurance reasons, like swinging out of a flying helicopter, I wouldn't want to do anyway," he says.

Grammy performers announced: Kelly Clarkson and more! >>

LL -- real name James Todd Smith -- was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Hip-Hop Awards in October.

The 54th Grammy Awards show airs Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Foo Fighters, Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean have all been confirmed to play at this year's show.

Photo credits: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com

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