LL Cool J Drops Out of NYE Performance Due to COVID-19

LL Cool J, aka James Todd Smith at the PaleyFest 2015 Fall TV Preview - NCIS: Los Angeles at the Paley Center For Media on September 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, CA. (Shutterstock)

LL Cool J is withdrawing from ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2022 after contracting COVID-19. 

The “Mama Said Knock You Out” rapper released a statement Wednesday about his health to Variety

“I know it’s disappointing to the millions of fans but my test came back positive for COVID, which means I’ll no longer be able to perform as scheduled at New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” he said in the statement. “We were ready and I was really looking forward to ringing in 2022 in my hometown in a special way, but for now I wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year. The best is yet to come!”

Related Story: Chris Rock Says He’s ‘Back From the Dead’ After COVID-19 Nightmare

The rapper and actor was set to perform a medley of his songs from Times Square. Now the performers in Times Square are down to two — Journey and Karol G.

Another artist who pulled out from the New Year’s Eve tradition is Chlöe.   

The artists that will be performing pre-taped Los Angeles segments for the special include Avril Lavigne, Travis Barker, AJR and duo Daisy The Great, Big Boi with singer Sleepy Brown, Don Omar with Nio Garcia, French Montana, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with singer Windser, Måneskin, Mae Muller with Polo G, Masked Wolf, OneRepublic and Walker Hayes.

Seacrest will host the special from New York along with co-host Liza Koshy, a comedian and YouTuber. Ciara will host the segments from Los Angeles, and actress Roselyn Sánchez will host the special’s first-ever Spanish countdown from Puerto Rico with Daddy Yankee as the performer.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the special, which first began broadcasting with Clark as its host in 1972.