LL Cool J

American rapper

American rapper and a songwriter Source: Google

LL Cool J is the stage name of James Todd Smith, an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. Along with other new school hip-hop artists Beastie Boys and Run-DMC, he was one of the first rappers to have mainstream success.

LL Cool J’s acting career had a difficult beginning, but it quickly gathered momentum owing to a number of strong performances in both films and TV shows.

Childhood, Family, & Early Life

Parents James and Ondrea Smith gave birth to James Todd Smith in Long Island, New York.

He was usually referred to as Todd and had a challenging childhood. He witnessed his father shooting at his mother and grandfather when he was just four years old, which led to the breakup of his parents.

His mother started dating “Roscoe,” a physical therapist. LL Cool J has accused Roscoe of physically and psychologically abusing him in his book and in interviews. But Roscoe has denied these allegations.

How did LL Cool J start his Career?

Todd first met Rick Rubin, a New York University student, when he was 16 years old in 1984. Todd’s music caught Rubin’s ear, and the two collaborated to produce the single “I Need a Beat.”
Russell Simmons, an artist manager, also like the tune when it was provided to him.

Later that year, Simmons and Rubin established their record label, “Def Jam Recordings,” and released LL Cool J’s debut single, “I Need a Beat,” which went on to sell more than 100,000 copies.

Because of its impactful lyrics, “Radio” received a lot of positive reactions and more than 1.5 million copies were sold.


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Acting Career

When Todd played himself in the 1985 film “Krush Groove,” which was about the creation of “Def Jam Recordings,” he also began his acting career.

Todd’s subsequent album, “Bigger and Deffer,” was widely acclaimed when it was released in 1987. Included were the tunes “I’m Bad,” “I Need Love,” and “Bristol Hotel.”

Additionally, the album sold more than 3 million copies and spent 11 weeks at the top of the Billboard R&B charts.


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The predominance of “soft” songs on LL Cool J’s third album, “Walking with a Panther,” turned off many of his fans even though it was a commercial success when it was released in 1989.

In response to the criticism from the fans, he released “Mama Said Knock You Out,” which contained upbeat and hard-hitting music. One of his best-selling albums to date, it has sold over 2.7 million copies.


The success of his music led to him getting parts in films including “The Hard Way” and “Toys.” In 1993, he performed at the Lincoln Memorial at the swearing-in of President Clinton.

In 1993, Todd established his own record label, P.O.G., or “Power Of God.” Additionally, he founded “Rock The Bells,” a music production company that worked with artists like “Amyth,” “Smokeman,” “Natice,” and others.


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A record label and social networking website were both launched by LL Cool J in 2008 under the name “Boomdizzle.” Amateur musicians can upload their music to the internet, where people can rate it.
Furthermore, at Sears stores, Todd debuted his own line of urban clothing in 2009 under the name “LL Cool J collection.

In the 2009 season of the CBS television program “NCIS: Los Angeles,” LL Cool J received a regular role as special agent “Sam Hanna,” a Navy investigator.

On LL Cool J’s most recent album, “Authentic,” which was released in 2013, a number of other musicians, including “Eddie Van Halen,” “Snoop Dogg,” “Seal,” and “Brad Paisley,” made cameo appearances.

Major Works

His best-selling album to date is LL Cool J’s groundbreaking opus “Bigger and Deffer,” which was released in 1987.

The album includes “I Need Love,” the pioneering and most well-known “rap ballad” of its kind. In 1990, LL Cool J’s wonderful and classic song “Mama Said Knock You Out” was released. LL Cool J successfully recovered from the failure of his prior album.


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The four songs from the album, including the Grammy-winning title track, all had a lot of success.

Personal Life and Relationship History

On August 8, 1995, after dating for eight years, LL Cool J and Simone Smith are formally married.

Simone and LL Cool J have been together for one of the longest periods of time in Hollywood. In a 2012 Jimmy Kimmel interview, the hip-hop artist discussed how they first met. The two first connected in 1987 when they were both still in their teen years.

In 2004, Simone noticed a knot in her leg and was diagnosed with stage 3 chondrosarcoma. After a 15-hour treatment and a two-year recovery phase in which she had to relearn how to walk, Simone has been cancer-free for more than 14 years.

Also, LL Cool J and Kidada Jones have been romantically involved (1992 – 1994). According to rumors, LL Cool J dated Gabrielle Union in 1996, Pilar Sanders in 2007, and Karrine Steffans in 2007.

Net Worth, Salary, and Earnings

American rapper and actor LL Cool J has a net worth of $120 million. He was among the first hip-hop artists to become well-known.

As the star of the network television program NCIS: Los Angeles, he is currently well-known. Every NCIS episode earns him $350,000.

Awards & Achievements

In 1991, LL Cool J won an “MTV Video Music Award” in the category of “Best Rap Video” for his well-known song “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
In 1992, LL Cool J won his first Grammy for “Best Rap Solo Performance” for the song “Mama Said Knock You Out.”

For the song “Hey Lover” from the album “Mr. Smith,” he won his second Grammy in 1997; this time, it was in the same category as “Best Rap Solo Performance.”


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He won a “Blockbuster Entertainment Award” for “Favorite Supporting Actor – Action” in 2000 for his performance in the film “Deep Blue Sea.”

He won a “Teen Choice Award” in the category “Choice TV Actor: Action” for his role on “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

You may also read about Victor Claver

Body Measurements and Appearance

The measurements of LL Cool J are 6 feet 1 inch (1.87 meters), 212 pounds (96 kilograms), and 46-36-34 inches for his vital signs.

He is well known for wearing hats or beanie caps all the time and is hardly ever seen without one of these accessories. Underneath his hat, he has black hair and also has a matching black eye.


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Social Media

Twitter: 5M followers

Instagram: 3M followers


How many times does LL Cool J lick his lips?

The rapper/host licked his lips a total of 46 times during the Grammy Awards broadcast last year.

What does LL Cool J represent?

At the age of 16, Smith used the stage name LL Cool J (“Ladies Love Cool James”) and in 1984 joined the budding rap label Def Jam.

Quick Facts

  • Full Name- James Todd Smith
  • Net Worth- $120 Million
  • Date of Birth- 14 January 1968
  • Age- 54 Years Old
  • Birth Place- Bay Shore, New York, United States
  • Profession- Rapper, Actor, and Record Producer
  • Debut TV Series- The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1993)
  • Music Video- Radio (1985)
  • Film- Krush Groove (1985)
  • Years Active- 1984 – Present
  • Hometown- Bay Shore, New York
  • Zodiac Sign- Capricorn
  • School/High School- Local High School in Naples, Florida, United States
  • Mother Name- Ondrea Smith
  • Girlfriend- Simone Smith
  • Marital Status- Married
  • Wife Name- Simone Smith

Written by Jami Thompson

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