Rapper-actor LL Cool J (inset) is Harvard’s 2014 Artist of the Year, and will be honored at the annual Cultural Rhythms Festival Feb. 22. In making the announcement Wednesday, Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter had this to say about Ladies Love Cool James: “His pioneering contributions to a new genre of music and distinguished history of creativity have been lauded by young people around the world, and he is greatly admired for his excellent humanitarian efforts through the Jumpstart program,” an initiative that enhances early education programs in low-income neighborhoods. In recent years, the Harvard Foundation has honored Shakira, Quincy Jones, Queen Latifah, Sharon Stone, Andy Garcia, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Jackie Chan, and Denzel Washington.

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