Stanley Kirk Burrell, better known by his stage name MC Hammer, is an American rapper, dancer, record producer and entrepreneur who had his greatest commercial success and popularity from the late 1980s until the early 1990s.
A multi-award winner, M.C. Hammer is considered a "forefather/pioneer" and innovator of pop-rap (incorporating elements of freestyle music) and is the first hip hop artist to achieve diamond status for an album. BET ranked Hammer as the No. 7 "Best Dancer Of All Time". Vibe's "The Best Rapper Ever Tournament" declared him the 17th favorite of all-time during the first round. Hammer's popularity and success waned beginning in the mid-nineties when he was labeled a sellout by the changing landscape of hip-hop music.
Throughout the years, Hammer has been awarded for his music, videos and choreography. He has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. He has won three Grammy Awards (one with Rick James and Alonzo Miller) for Best Rhythm and Blues Song (1990), Best Rap Solo (1990) and Best Music Video: Long Form (1990) taken from Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em: The Movie. He also received eight American Music Awards, a People's Choice Award, an NAACP Image Awards and the Billboard Diamond Award (the first for a hip hop artist).
The International Album of the Year validated Hammer's talent as a world-class entertainer. Additionally, Hammer was also honored with a Soul Train Music Award (Sammy Davis, Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year) in 1991. He has also been a presenter/performer at Soul Train's Music Awards several times, including The 5th Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1991), The 9th Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1995) and Soul Train's 25th Anniversary (1995).
Hammer appeared on gospel music's Stellar Awards show in 1997 and spoke of his renewed commitment to God. In the same interview, he promised to unveil the "second leg" of his career.
In the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, Hammer made a surprise appearance in the middle of the show with best friend Jermaine Jackson.
On June 12, 2008, Hammer gave his support to Warren Beatty by attending the 36th AFI Life Achievement Awards. In August 2008, at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships, Hammer won a Living Legends of Hip Hop Award from Hip Hop International in Las Vegas.
Hammer, Gary Vaynerchuk, Shaquille O'Neal and Rick Sanchez (host) celebrated the Best of Twitter in Brooklyn at the first Shorty Awards on February 11, 2009, which honored the top short-form content creators on Twitter. In September 2009, Hammer made the "accomplishment appearance" in Zombie Apocalypse for the downloadable Smash TV/Left 4 Dead hybrid for the Xbox 360. Hammer attended the 2009 Soul Train Music Awards which aired on BET November 29, 2009.
On January 5, 2010, Hammer (along with Alyssa Milano and others) was a member of panel judges for the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences at the Second Annual Shorty Awards. On October 2 (televised October 12), Hammer opened the 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards performing "2 Legit 2 Quit" in Atlanta along with Rick Ross, Diddy and DJ Khaled (all performing together during "MC Hammer" from the Teflon Don album as well).
With over 2.6 million Twitter followers in 2010, his contribution to social media and as a co-founder of his own Internet businesses (such as DanceJam.com), Hammer was announced as the recipient of the first Gravity Summit Social Media Marketer of the Year Award. The award was presented to him at the 3rd Annual Gravity Summit on February 22, 2011, at the UCLA Covel Commons.
At the 40th American Music Awards in November 2012, Hammer danced to a mashup of "Gangnam Style" and "2 Legit 2 Quit" along with South Korean pop star Psy, both wearing his signature Hammer pants. The collaboration was released on iTunes. The performance idea with Hammer came from Psy's management. They both performed it together again on December 31, 2012, during Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
Hammer received the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement (not to be mistaken for the Gershwin Prize), presented during the UCLA Spring Sing in Pauley Pavilion on May 17, 2013.