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Run-DMC Co-Founder Darryl McDaniels Inks Wide Ranging Licensing Deal

The groundbreaking hip-hop star Darryl McDaniels has signed an expansive licensing deal with Nickelodeon and ViacomCBS Consumer Products, that will include apparel, a book deal, and a collaboration on a new series for kids.

McDaniels is one of the co-founders of Run-DMC, an early hip-hop group that remains hugely popular today, and that paved the way for many subsequent hip-hop stars. Run-DMC was founded in 1983 by McDaniels and his buddies Joseph Simmons and Jason Mizell, and is seen as one of the most influential bands in the history of hip-hop culture. Along with the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Public Enemy, Run-DMC is seen as a pioneer of the new school hip-hop movement.

McDaniels is now working with Nickelodeon and ViacomCBS Consumer Products on a cross-category consumer products program that includes apparel, a publishing deal with Random House Children’s Books, and a collaboration with Noggin, Nickelodeon’s interactive learning service for preschoolers, for What’s the Word? a brand-new short-form series available now exclusively on the platform.

“Darryl McDaniels is a remarkable talent, with an equally inspiring background, who has positively impacted the lives of millions through his music and philanthropic work,” said Pam Kaufman, President, Global Consumer Products, ViacomCBS. “We are so excited to work with him and extend his platform to reach today’s generation of kids around the globe with his message of empowerment, encouraging all kids to chase their own dreams.”

This collaboration between Noggin and McDaniels features the music icon lending his voice to episodes of Noggin’s brand-new original series What’s the Word? , slated to run for 15 episodes. Each short-form animated music video features a new word–such as cooperate, opposite and persevere–for kids, while utilizing songs and fan-favorite characters from hit series, including Blue’s Clues & You!, PAW Patrol, Bubble Guppies and Team Umizoomi, to help illustrate and teach the meaning of the word.

Additionally, consumer products plans are underway for a selection of apparel and accessories inspired by McDaniel’s childhood that will be available exclusively on the Nickelodeon brand store on Amazon, along with a future collaboration with The Felix Organization, a nonprofit organization and longstanding partner of ViacomCBS that was founded by McDaniels and EMMY Award-winning casting director Sheila Jaffe, which aims to help enrich the lives of children in foster care.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been very fortunate to have a diverse group of fans, including kids,” said McDaniels. “Working with Nickelodeon and ViacomCBS Consumer Products and having the opportunity to help make a positive impact on their lives and develop their self-esteem is so special to me.”