Special Guests

Berklee’s 2018 annual Encore Gala featured LL Cool J as master of ceremonies and Nile Rodgers and Chic as the Starlight Finale performer.

Master of Ceremonies: LL Cool J

LL Cool J is an entertainment icon who has found great success crossing into multiple mediums. A Kennedy Center honoree, two-time Grammy Award winner, recording artist, actor, author, NAACP Image Award winner, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, he continues to display his wide range of talents with every project. Since beginning his career in 1984, he was the first rap artist to amass 10 consecutive platinum-plus selling albums. A multi-platinum artist and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee, he is currently tied for third place for most Billboard chart debuts by a rapper. He hosted the Grammy Awards for an unprecedented five years in a row, and currently has a starring role on NCIS: Los Angeles and hosts Lip Sync Battle.

Starlight Finale: Nile Rodgers and Chic

As cofounder of the band Chic, Nile Rodgers, a multiple Grammy Award winner, composer, producer, arranger, and guitarist, pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping pop hits such as “Le Freak” and “We Are Family,” and sparked the advent of hip-hop with “Good Times.” He produced hit songs such as David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and Madonna’s “Material Girl,” and has sold more than 300 million albums and 50 million singles worldwide, including “Get Lucky”—the Grammy Award–winning Record of the Year—with Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams.