- 1 Who is LL Cool J?
- 2 LL Cool J Wiki: Early Life, Parents, and Education
- 3 Career Beginnings
- 4 Debut Studio Album and Breakthrough
- 5 Rise to Stardom and Recent Projects
- 6 Acting Career
- 7 LL Cool J Awards
- 8 LL Cool J Net Worth
- 9 LL Cool J Personal Life, Wife Simone Smith, Children, Religion
- 10 LL Cool J Internet Fame
- 11 LL Cool J Body Measurements
Who is LL Cool J?
A man of many talents, LL Cool J is the one who added love into rap – with the song “I Need Love” (1987) he made headlines across the USA, and he was the star in making. Since then, LL Cool J has made a name for himself not only as a rapper, but also as a music producer, author, and actor. But who is LL J Cool really? You will find out everything you need to know about this celebrity, from his birth name, childhood, career and personal life as well. Born James Todd Smith on the 14th January 1968, in Bay Shore, Long Island New York USA, he has so far released 13 studio albums, including his debut “Radio” (1985), then “Mama Said Knock You Out” (1990), “Todd Smith” (2006), and “Authentic” (2013), among others. In addition to music, LL Cool J is also a celebrated actor, with his most prominent role being as Special Agent Sam Hana in the procedural-drama series “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2009-2018).
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LL Cool J Wiki: Early Life, Parents, and EducationLL Cool J is the son of James Louis Smith, Jr. and Ondrea Griffith, who was adopted by Eugene Griffith and Ellen Hightower, of which LL Cool J found out years later, and it turned out that LL Cool J is related to the legendary boxer, John Henry Lewis. Growing up, he faced numerous tough situations; when he was only four years old, his father shot his wife and grandfather, and LL Cool J found them lying on the floor in a pool of blood – both lived but unsurprisingly, his parents divorced. He went to live with his grandparents and like many other children that spent their childhood in Queens, became interested in rap, and began rapping when he was only nine years old. Seven years later he was making demos, on equipment his grandfather bought for him worth $2,000, and one tape reached producers of Def Jam, who offered him a record deal. His career was ready to start – he was attending Hillcrest High School, but dropped out to focus fully on his career in music.
Before sending his demo tape, he was thinking about a stage name, and decided on LL Cool J which stands for Ladies Love Cool James. His official debut release was the single “I Need a Beat” (1984), which became an instant hit, and the same year he made his concert debut performance, in an event held at Manhattan Center High School. He immediately connected with the public, and at just 16 years old he was a star. All the girls from high school wanted his autograph, and it was this experience that made LL Cool J pursue music further.
Debut Studio Album and BreakthroughLL’s debut studio album “Radio” came out on the 18th November 1985, and reached No. 6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and achieved platinum status, while it spawned such hits as “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” and “Rock the Bells”. His initial success brought him a spot on the Raising Hell tour, as an opening act to Run- D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys. His second album “Bigger and Deffer” came out in 1987, and became one of LL’s most prominent albums as it achieved platinum status in the USA, topped the US R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and reached No. 3 on the US Billboard 200 chart, plus spawning such hits as “I Need Love”, “Go Cut Creator Go”, and “Bristol Hotel”. LL continued in the same way with the album “Walking with a Panther”, which also became a commercial success, although heavily criticized by the hip-hop community as LL continued with love ballads, and the album had a more commercial feel. Nevertheless, it still topped the US R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and songs such as “Going Back to Cali”, “Big Ole Butt”, “Jingling Baby”, and “I’m That Type of Guy” became hits.
Rise to Stardom and Recent Projects
LL continued his dominance in the ‘90s, and with such albums as “Mama Said Knock You Out” (1990), “Mir. Smith” (1995), and “Phenomenon” (1997), only proved that his success wasn’t accidental. Albums from 1990 and 1995 achieved double platinum status, while “Phenomenon” was rated platinum. He has released six more studio albums since the start of the new millennium, including “G.O.A.T” (2000), and “10” (2002), both topping the US R&B/Hip-Hop chart. His latest album “Authentic”, came out in 2013, and was his first album not to be released through Def Jam, but through S-BRO Music group.
LL Cool J is also an acclaimed actor; he made his debut with a minor role in the film “Wildcats” in 1986, while in 1992 he had a notable role in the comedy-drama film “Toys”, starring next to Robin Williams and Joan Cusack. From 1995 to 1999 he was Marion Hill in the sitcom “In the House”, and then in 1999 portrayed Julian Washington in the sports-drama film “Any Given Sunday”, starring Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid and Cameron Diaz. His first lead role was in the comedy-drama film “Kingdom Come” in 2001, co-starring Jada Pinkett Smith and Vivica A. Fox, and he continued with starring roles in films such as the romantic drama comedy “Deliver Us from Eva” in 2003, while in 2004 he was Gabe Jensen in the horror mystery film “Mindhunters”, co-starring Val Kilmer and Christian Slater. It was in 2009 that he reached prominence as an actor, when he was selected for the part of Special Agent Sam Hana in the highly-acclaimed TV series “NCIS: Los Angeles”, and so far has appeared in over 220 episodes.
— LLCOOLJ. (@llcoolj) September 30, 2018
LL Cool J Awards
LL’s talents have been recognized with a number of awards, both in music and acting; he has won two Grammy Awards out of nine nominations, and also has four NAACP Image Awards, plus four Primetime Emmy Awards as the host of the TV show “Lip Sync Battle”, which he has hosted since 2015. LL Cool J was also rewarded with a Star on the Walk of Fame in January 2016. Furthermore, thanks to his contribution to music, he has also been nominated for induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame five times.
LL Cool J Net Worth
LL Cool J has become a star both as a musician and actor, but his other ventures have also contributed to his wealth, including a clothing line and several books he has released. So, have you ever wondered how rich LL Cool J is, as of late 2018? According to authoritative sources, it has been estimated that LL Cool J’s net worth is now over $100 million.
LL Cool J Personal Life, Wife Simone Smith, Children, Religion
LL Cool J doesn’t like sharing much information about his personal life with the public, but a few things about this star are known – since 1995 he has been married to Simone Smith, with whom he has four children; the two have recently celebrated their 23rd anniversary. His wife was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called chondrosarcoma, discovered only in its third stage, but after a surgery and chemotherapy, Simone managed to recover, but it took her two and a half years to start walking again. Throughout her battle against the terrible disease, LL was there for his wife, ceasing all projects to spend time with her. Since her recovery, Simone has launched her own jewelry line called SS. When it comes to religion, LL Cool J is a devout Methodist.
LL Cool J Internet Fame
Over the years, LL Cool J has become extremely popular on social media platforms, with millions of fans waiting for his newest posts. He has over five million fans on his official Twitter account, while on Facebook he has over four million followers, and on Instagram, LL is followed by more than 1.5 million fans. So, if you aren’t already a fan of this prominent musician and actor, then this is a perfect opportunity for you, just skip over to his official pages.
LL Cool J Body Measurements
Do you know how tall LL Cool J is, and how much he weighs? Well, LL Cool J stands at 6ft 1in, or 1.87m, while he weighs 212lbs or 96kgs, while his vital statistics are 46-36-34 inches. He is recognized for wearing a hat or a beanie, never going out without one of these accessories.