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LL Cool J      

Hip-Hop Artist, Host of "Lip Sync Battle" & Actor Known For "NCIS"

Born James Todd Smith on Long Island, New York, LL Cool J is a nickname that stands for "Ladies Love Cool James." LL Cool J signed to fledgling hip-hop label Def Jam Records in 1984. After a string of hits — included on albums like "Bigger and Deffer," "Walking with a Panther,"" Mama Said Knock You Out," "14 Shots to the Dome" and "Mr. Smith" — LL turned to acting, appearing in movies like "B.A.P.S.," "Halloween H2O" and "Any Given Sunday." In 2009, he began his run on the popular investigative series "NCIS: Los Angeles," and in 2015 he became the host of "Lip Sync Battle," a popular spin-off of a bit first introduced on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

LL Cool J's second album was 1987's "Bigger and Deffer," which was produced by DJ Pooh and the L.A. Posse. This stands as one of his biggest-selling career albums, having sold in excess of two million copies in the United States alone. It spent 11 weeks at #1 on Billboard's R&B albums chart and also reached #3 on the Billboard's Pop albums chart. In 1990, LL released "Mama Said Knock You Out," his fourth studio album. The Marley Marl produced album received critical acclaim and eventually went double Platinum, selling over two million copies according to the RIAA. "Mama Said Knock You Out" marked a turning point in LL Cool J's career, as he proved to critics his ability to stay relevant and hard-edged despite the misgivings of his previous album. LL won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1992 for the title track. The album's immense success propelled Mama Said Knock You Out to be LL's top selling album of his career (as of 2002) and solidified his status as a hip-hop icon.

LL Cool J has received special recognition for his many talents. In January 2016, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In December 2017, he became the first rapper to earn recognition at the annual Kennedy Center Honors, America’s highest achievement for a performer.

Speech Topics

An Evening With LL Cool J


LL Cool J Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
*LL Cool J has earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the unveiling ceremony was held on Friday (Jan. 22), where the rapper/actor was joined by fellow entertainers like Queen Latifah, Diddy, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson and more. Latifah and Diddy spoke highly of Cool J and his achievements in the music/film industry. Although he has stepped away from the music to concentrate on his acting duties, the veteran artist said in an interview with Variety that if he returns, it’ll be because he’s ready and not because a record label has demanded he deliver a new project. “If I put out more music, it’ll be just because,” he says. “It’s not to try to compete. I don’t have to be a juvenile to make cool records. I don’t have to be on the pop charts to be relevant or be a cool artist. I’m a cool artist because I’m LL Cool J and this is what I do. And that’s just coming from a place of confidence, not hubris or arrogance.” Check out the beginning of the star unveiling ceremony in the clip below at the 16-minute mark.
Why LL Cool J's Most Famous Album Almost Never Happened
LL Cool J, née James Todd Smith, began releasing albums in 1985 after connecting with Def Jam: his first, Radio, went platinum. The year 1987 came, and he ...
Fabolous, LL Cool J to Host World Star Hip Hop's 3rd Annual Back-To-School Giveaway
LL Cool J’s Album Mama Said Knock You Out Turns 25. Here’s How It Re-Defined His Career
LL Cool J looks forward to a more festive Grammys show
Rapper/actor LL Cool J hopes his second time hosting the Grammy Awards is more fun ... The rap icon says the Grammys have embraced hip-hop culture, despite ... and at the same time give all of those deserving artists an opportunity to shine." ... to want their genre to be represented," says the two-time Grammy winner.
New LL COOL J Song Featuring Brad Paisley 'Live For You ...
NEW YORK, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New LL COOL J Song Featuring Brad Paisley ... mid-tempo Hip-Hop/R&B sound, visit: http://bit.ly/LL-LiveForYou. ... A two-time Grammy® Award winner, recording artist, talented actor, New York ...
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An Interview With LL Cool J Before His Minneapolis Concert « CBS ...
LL Cool J, the actor and Grammy Award winning recording artist, is in the Twin ... Some of LL Cool J's most popular hip hop songs include “Mama Said Knock ...
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