Rapper Lil' Kim joins "Dancing with the Stars"

LOS ANGELES Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:11am EST

Hip hop artist Lil' Kim arrives at the 2008 BET Awards in Los Angeles June 24, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Hip hop artist Lil' Kim arrives at the 2008 BET Awards in Los Angeles June 24, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Grammy-award winning rapper Lil' Kim, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor will hit the floor for "Dancing With the Stars" when the show returns for an 8th season in March, ABC said on Monday.

They will be joined by real-life couples, rodeo athlete Ty Murray and his singer wife Jewel, and country star Chuck Wicks and his girlfriend, two-time "Dancing With the Stars" champion Julianne Hough.

Former Apple executive Steve Wozniak, actress Denise Richards, 1980s pop singer Belinda Carlisle, "Sex and the City" actor Gilles Marini, celebrity reporter Nancy O'Dell, movie and TV prankster Steve-O and actor David Alan Grier round out the 13 stars showing off their fancy footwork.

Johnson, 17, who won an Olympic gold medal at the Beijing games in 2008, is the youngest ever competitor on the hit show which returns with a two-hour season premiere on March 9.

Singer and actress Lil' Kim, 33, spent a year in prison in 2005 after being found guilty of perjury and conspiracy for lying about the involvement of her friends in a 2001 shooting in New York.

Taylor, who led the New York Giants to two Super Bowl titles, has also written two books and appeared in several movies.

"Dancing With the Stars" has proved a ratings smash for ABC. Its last season, which ended in September 2008, drew about 19 million viewers per episode.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)

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