2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Nominee and 'NCIS: Los Angeles' star LL Cool J 'still very, very close to music'

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LL Cool J is quite visible as an actor these days, but he hasn't forgotten music ... and music clearly hasn't forgotten him.

Just after marking the 100th episode of his CBS series "NCIS: Los Angeles," the actor-rapper was named Wednesday (Oct. 16) as a candidate for 2014 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Votes are being tallied through Dec. 10, and fans can join music professionals in casting theirs at several sites including www.rockhall.com/vote.

"I really love music and being involved in it," LL Cool J tells Zap2it. "I get to work with a lot of different people, like on the record we put together and released recently ( 'Authentic'). It has a lot of interesting collaborations, and a lot of that came about just from me working at the Grammys. I have everyone from Seal and Bootsy Collins to Snoop (Dogg) and Earth, Wind & Fire."

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be staged in April in New York City, with HBO televising it in May. LL Cool J is in good company for consideration, given the other nominees: the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall and John Oates, KISS, the Meters, Nirvana, N.W.A., the Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies.

Set to host the CBS special "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! -- Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" for the sixth consecutive year Friday, Dec. 6, LL Cool J also has hosted the Grammy Awards themselves twice. That's another way he's kept his musical ties while maintaining his acting career, but there still are others.

"I also do a lot of live concerts," he reports, "and that's a lot of fun. This past summer, I toured with Public Enemy, De La Soul and Ice Cube doing the Kings of the Mic Tour ... so I'm still very, very close to music in terms of performing. Working with the Grammys just lets me be even more deeply immersed in music culture."
Photo/Video credit: CBS