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LL Cool J Gets Personal With Inspiring Welcome Speech at 2013 Grammy Awards

LL Cool J
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Instead of jokes and parodies as other award shows tend to do, LL Cool J brought a more sentimental tone to his opening monologue at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Sunday night.

“Now Taylor [Swift] says we’re never going to get back together, but the truth is that at the Grammys, we always get back together,” he said after giving Swift props for her opening performance. “And that’s what makes music’s biggest night.”

The rapper-actor revealed why the Grammys and having the opportunity to host it this year were such an honor to him. “This year I want to take just a moment to host this show for you,” LL stated. “Wherever you come from, eventually you have that moment where it hits you — the Grammy Award is music’s ultimate honor. For me that moment came when I saw Michael Jackson cradling all those Grammys he won…

“That magical image inspired me to go after my own dream, and the same is true for many of us in this great hall tonight.”

After giving props to artists such as Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Rihanna, he, again, turned the focus to himself and shared his memories of winning two gramophones including the 1992 Best Rap Solo Performance for ‘Mama Said Knock You Out.’

“When I received them, I gave my Grammys to my grammy — my grandmother — to look after because she always looked after me,” he shared. “And more than anyone, my grandmother taught me to dream, dream, dream. And when that great lady passed more than a decade ago, I took them into my home where my family lives, and I cherish and I polish them regularly.

“And anytime I look at them, they inspire me to strive for excellence just like you kids at home should do.”

He continued, “A Grammy isn’t a shiny thing to hold onto. A Grammy is a dream come true.

Watch LL Cool J’s 2013 Grammy Awards Welcome Speech

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