LL Cool J Named First Grammys Host in 7 Years

The rapper-actor has been tapped to emcee the 54th Grammy Awards, airing Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. on CBS

The Grammys are about to get a heck of a lot Cool-er.

For the first time in seven years, "music's biggest night" will have an official host -- and, it was announced Thursday, that emcee will be LL Cool J.

Hosting the 2012 Grammys won't be a huge stretch for the 44-year-old rapper-actor; he's performed those very duties at the live Grammy nominations concert show every year since 2008. But it will be a big change for the show, which hasn't had a host since Queen Latifah last did the honors back in 2005. Before that, the Grammys had been presided over by the likes of comedians Jon Stewart, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O'Donnell.

Unlike most of his predecessors but very much like Latifah, LL Cool J straddles the line between musician and comedian -- and should be a great host because of it. It remains to be seen if Cool J's involvement in the show will reel in more viewers -- but he, for one, is excited.

"I'm thrilled to be part of Music's Biggest Night," the rapper said in a statement. "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 54th Grammy Awards will air Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, featuring performances by the Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean. Adele has the most nominations this year with six, including album of the year, record of the year, and song of the Year.

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