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LL Cool J's Red-Carpet Gum Control and More Insider Scoop

LL Cool J arrives at the Art Directors Guild 20th Annual Excellence In Production Awards
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

LL Cool J at the Art Directors Guild 20th Annual Excellence In Production Awards on Jan. 31, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. 

Krugman Bullish On Lucius 

Brooklyn-based indie pop band Lucius isn't just a critics' darling. The five-piece group, led by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, has an avid fan in Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times op-ed columnist Paul Krugman. The End This Depression Now! author attended the band's jam-packed showcase at the Gramercy Park Hotel's Rose Bar in New York and wrote about the gig in his Times blog, The Conscience of a Liberal. Posting a photo he took at the show of a very tall guy -- who from the back resembled actor Adam Driver (of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) -- obstructing his view, Krugman wrote that he had "a wonderful time despite Kylo Ren in the way." He also deemed Lucius' performance, which highlighted the group's upcoming LP Good Grief (out March 11), "awesome," and told Billboard his favorite song of the night was a new one, "Dusty Trails."


LL Cool J Supports Gum Control 

A publicist handling the red carpet at the Jan. 31 Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Awards in Los Angeles went beyond the call of duty to ensure that LL Cool J looked his best. Before the rapper-actor walked the gauntlet of photographers, the publicist suggested he lose the gum he was chewing. With no trash can nearby, she extended her hand and LL deposited it in her palm.

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 13 issue of Billboard.

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