LL Cool J
president, actor
LL Cool J
James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J (an abbreviation for Ladies Love Cool James), is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor from Bay Shore, New York. He is known for romantic ballads such as "I Need Love", "Around the Way Girl" and "Hey Lover" as well as pioneering hip-hop such as "I Can't Live Without My Radio", "I'm Bad", "The Boomin' System", and "Mama Said Knock You Out".
Biography
LL Cool J's personal information overview.
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News abour LL Cool J from around the web
LL Cool J surprises hometown for Christmas
CNN - 2 months
Rapper LL Cool J lit up the holidays for some needy families in the neighborhood where he grew up. It happened at the Greater Allen A.M.E Cathedral in the Hollis section of Queens, New York.
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CNN article
James Corden is officially cooler than LL Cool J
LATimes - 3 months
CBS and the Recording Academy delivered a Grammy Awards shakeup Wednesday morning, announcing that James Corden will host the 2017 ceremony. The move leaves LL Cool J, who hosted the last five Grammy Awards, out in the cold. How is this possible? Has Corden really become cooler than a man who literally...
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LATimes article
5 Reasons James Corden Will Make a Great Grammys Host - Billboard
Google News - 3 months
Billboard 5 Reasons James Corden Will Make a Great Grammys Host Billboard LL Cool J is passing the Grammys torch to Late Late Show host James Corden, as revealed on Tuesday (Nov. 22). While fans of the rapper may have been caught off guard by the news -- LL has served as the emcee for the past five years -- we're not too ... We Ranked All of James Corden's Carpool Karaoke Segments: Who Rode Shotgun to No. 1?E! Online James Corden to Host Grammy Awards (EXCLUSIVE)Variety James Corden to Host 2017 GrammysNew York Times Entertainment Weekly -Us Weekly -Los Angeles Times -Entertainment Tonight all 175 news articles »
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Google News article
James Corden to Host 2017 Grammys
NYTimes - 3 months
Mr. Corden, well known for hi “Carpool Karaoke,” hosted the Tonys this year and takes over from LL Cool J, who was the Grammys host for five years.
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NYTimes article
Almost Christmas
Huffington Post - 3 months
Watching this humorous film is like getting a funny Christmas card that makes you laugh uncontrollably as it warms you heart. This ode to the joy and angst people feel as their family reconvenes for the certain chaos, gluttony and joy during Christmas, is a nice way to start the holiday season. It's a very entertaining stocking stuffer. (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures) The cast of the holiday film Almost Christmas. Under writer/director David E. Talbert's (First Sunday) guidance you know there will be equal parts comedy and inspirational message. Toss in producer Will Packer's (Think Like a Man) sensibility and you can pile on the silliness and bawdy humor. What's on view is a raucous comedy that feels almost TV sitcommish. It's seasoned with enough soap opera-ish drama to make you laugh at the characters, be astonished by their schemes and heartened by the way they resolve their problems. Walter Meyers (Danny Glover, The Color Purple), the successful owner of severa ...
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Huffington Post article
Lupita Nyong'o Slays Performance Of Salt-N-Pepa’s 'Whatta Man'
Huffington Post - 4 months
Lupita Nyong’o is full of surprises.  The Oscar-winning actress is best known for her high-brow performances in dramas like “12 Years A Slave” and blockbusters like “Star Wars,” but she’s just shown a new, fiery side of herself in an appearance on Spike’s hit show “Lip Sync Battle.” Hosted by LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen, the series features celebs lip-syncing their favorite songs in front of a live studio audience.  In an episode that aired Wednesday night, Nyong’o battled it out with fellow actress Regina Hall. She first performed Enrique Iglesias’ 90s hit “Bailamos,” but it was her second performance of Salt-N-Pepa’s iconic “Whatta Man” that really got the crowd going. The actress not only lip-synced to perfection but also added steamy choreography and back-up dancers.  Naturally, she won the battle. Watch the entire glorious performance above.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may ...
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Huffington Post article
Twitter Users Get Nostalgic Over The #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes
Huffington Post - 5 months
Twitters users are mocking Donald Trump’s tax return saga by recalling what life was like in the 1990s. A New York Times report released Saturday that showed the GOP presidential nominee could have legally avoided paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years has prompted their amusing trip down memory lane. Via the #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes hashtag, they’ve recollected what would have been the relationship status of Ross and Rachel on “Friends” and the size of cell phones at the time ― and also resurfaced Trump’s own appearance on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Here are the best posts we’ve seen so far: #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes LL Cool J was "Doing it and Doing it and Doing it well" pic.twitter.com/JGlmZnA3MS — PoliticoZ (@Politicodivers2) October 2, 2016 #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes I was dialing into AOL at 3AM to check my Instant Messages — Donald J. Drumpf (@RealDonalDrumpf) October 2, 2016 #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes cell phones loo ...
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Huffington Post article
Twitter Users Get Nostalgic Over The #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes
Huffington Post - 5 months
Twitters users are mocking Donald Trump’s tax return saga by recalling what life was like in the 1990s. A New York Times report released Saturday that showed the GOP presidential nominee could have legally avoided paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years has prompted their amusing trip down memory lane. Via the #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes hashtag, they’ve recollected what would have been the relationship status of Ross and Rachel on “Friends” and the size of cell phones at the time ― and also resurfaced Trump’s own appearance on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Here are the best posts we’ve seen so far: #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes LL Cool J was "Doing it and Doing it and Doing it well" pic.twitter.com/JGlmZnA3MS — PoliticoZ (@Politicodivers2) October 2, 2016 #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes I was dialing into AOL at 3AM to check my Instant Messages — Donald J. Drumpf (@RealDonalDrumpf) October 2, 2016 #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes cell phones loo ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of LL Cool J
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    Age 48
    In March 2016, LL Cool J had announced his retirement on social media, but quickly announced coming out of retirement and that another new album is on the way.
    More Details Hide Details In July 2016, LL appeared on ABC's Greatest Hits. While LL Cool J first appeared as a rapper in the movie Krush Groove (performing "I Can't Live Without My Radio"), his first acting part was a small role in a high school football movie called Wildcats. He continued to pursue acting, landing the role of Captain Patrick Zevo in the 1992 film Toys in which he shared the silver screen with Robin Williams. In 1995, he landed his own television sitcom, In the House. He starred as an ex-Oakland Raiders running back who finds himself in financial difficulties and is forced to rent part of his home out to a single mother and her two children. In 1998, he had a role in the film Halloween H20. In 1999's Deep Blue Sea, he played the wise-cracking cook on a top-secret sea base besieged by genetically enhanced sharks. He received rave reviews for his role as Dwayne Gittens, an underworld boss, nicknamed "God" in In Too Deep. Later that year, he had a starring role in Any Given Sunday, in which he played Julian Washington, the talented but selfish running back on the dysfunctional Miami Sharks. Since then, LL Cool J has appeared in a variety of films, such as the 2002 remake of Rollerball, Deliver Us from Eva, Mindhunters, and S.W.A.T.
    On Thursday 21 January 2016, LL Cool J was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
    More Details Hide Details Queen Latifah, Mike Tyson and P Diddy showed up to applaud the hip hop artist, who wore his trademark beanie hat for the occasion.
    On January 21, 2016, LL Cool J received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    More Details Hide Details
    LL learned that his mother was adopted on a 2016 episode of the show Finding Your Roots.
    More Details Hide Details The names of her biological parents were Ethel Mae Jolly and Nathaniel Christy Lewis, a boxer. Nathaniel's brother, LL's biological great-uncle, was renowned pugilist John Henry Lewis. He began rapping at age 9 and was influenced by hip-hop group The Treacherous Three. In March 1984, when NYU student Rick Rubin and promoter-manager Russell Simmons founded the then-independent Def Jam label, 16-year-old Hollis, Queens-native James Todd Smith was creating demo tapes in his grandparents' home. His grandfather, a jazz saxophonist, bought him $2,000 worth of equipment, including two turntables, an audio mixer and an amplifier. Smith later discussed his childhood background and rapping, stating that "By the time I got that equipment, I was already a rapper. In this neighborhood, the kids grow up in rap. It's like speaking Spanish if you grow up in an all-Spanish house. I got into it when I was about 9, and since then all I wanted was to make a record and hear it on the radio." By using the mixer he had received from his grandfather, Smith produced and mixed his own demos and sent them to various record companies throughout New York City, including Simmons' and Rubin's own Def Jam Recordings.
  • 2014
    Age 46
    In October 2014, he announced his upcoming 14th studio album will be called G.O.A.T. 2 with a release window of 2015.
    More Details Hide Details LL Cool J stated about the album "the concept behind the album was to give upcoming artists an opportunity to shine, and put myself in the position where I have to spit bars with some of the hardest rhymers in the game." However, the album had been put on hold and has yet to be released. LL Cool J explained the reason for the album being put on hold, saying "didn't feel like it was feel it was ready yet".
  • 2013
    Age 45
    On October 16, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced LL Cool J as a nominee for inclusion in 2014.
    More Details Hide Details
    LL Cool J hosted the 55th Grammy Awards on February 10, 2013, as well as the 57th Grammys on February 9, 2015.
    More Details Hide Details On February 8, 2013, it was announced the album title would be changed from Authentic Hip-Hop to Authentic with a new release date of April 30, 2013, and a new cover was unveiled at the same time. At around the same time, it was announced that LL Cool J had collaborated with Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen on two tracks on the album.
  • 2012
    Age 44
    Following that, on November 3, 2012, LL Cool J collaborated with Joe and producers Trackmasters with his 2nd single, "Take It".
    More Details Hide Details
    On October 6, 2012, LL Cool J released a new single from Authentic Hip-Hop called "Ratchet".
    More Details Hide Details
    In June 2012, LL Cool J began work on his thirteenth studio album.
    More Details Hide Details Stating, "I'm going to be doing a little bit of the album on the Connect Studio, make sure that it is official."
    In a February 10, 2012 televised interview with CNN host Piers Morgan, LL Cool J expressed sympathy for President Obama and ascribed negative impressions of his leadership to Republican obstruction designed to "make it look like you have a coordination problem."
    More Details Hide Details He was quick to add that no one "should assume that I'm a Democrat either. I'm an Independent, you know?" In LL Cool J's Platinum 360 Diet and Lifestyle, he included Barack Obama in a list of "People I admire" saying, "He accomplished what people thought was impossible." His song "Mr President" on his album Exit 13 questioned the rationale for the Iraq War, and also expressed sympathy with illegal immigrants. With the breakthrough success of his hit single "I Need a Beat" and the Radio LP, LL Cool J became one of the first hip-hop acts to achieve mainstream success along with Kurtis Blow and Run-D.M.C.. Gigs at larger venues were offered to LL as he would join the 1986-'87 Raising Hell tour, opening for Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys. Another milestone of LL's popularity was his appearance on American Bandstand as the first hip hop act on the show.
  • 2011
    Age 43
    In March 2011 at South by Southwest, LL Cool J was revealed to be Z-Trip's special guest at the Red Bull Thre3Style showcase.
    More Details Hide Details This marked the beginning of a creative collaboration between the rap and DJ superstars. The two took part in an interview with Carson Daly where they discussed their partnership. Both artists have promised future collaborations down the road, with LL Cool J calling the duo "organic" One early track to feature LL's talents was Z-Trip's remix of British rock act Kasabian's single "Days Are Forgotten", which was named by influential DJ Zane Lowe as his "Hottest Record In The World" and received a favorable reception in both Belgium and the United Kingdom. In January 2012, the pair released the track "Super Baller" as a free download to celebrate the New York Giants Super Bowl victory. The two have been touring together since 2011, with future dates planned through 2012 and beyond.
  • 2009
    Age 41
    In September 2009, LL Cool J released a song about the NCIS TV series.
    More Details Hide Details It is a single and is available on iTunes. The new track is based on his experiences playing special agent Sam Hanna. "This song is the musical interpretation of what I felt after meeting with NCIS agents, experienced Marines and Navy SEALs," LL Cool J said. "It represents the collective energy in the room. I was so inspired I wrote the song on set."
    The series debuted in autumn of 2009, but the characters were introduced in an April 2009 crossover episode on the parent show.
    More Details Hide Details LL Cool J appeared in a cameo role, where he is credited with being the product lead of Google's Gmail Tap, an April Fool's Day joke launched by the Gmail team, purporting to bring a Morse Code keyboard to the platform. Since April 2015, LL has hosted the show Lip Sync Battle. LL Cool J worked behind the scenes with the mid-1980s hip-hop sportswear line TROOP. LL Cool J launched a clothing line (called "Todd Smith"). The brand produces popular urban apparel. Designs include influences from LL's lyrics and tattoos, as well as from other icons in the hip-hop community. LL Cool J has written four books, including 1998's I Make My Own Rules, an autobiography cowritten with Karen Hunter. His second book was the children-oriented book called And The Winner Is published in 2002. In 2006, LL Cool J and his personal trainer, Dave "Scooter" Honig, wrote a fitness book titled The Platinum Workout. His fourth book, LL Cool J (Hip-Hop Stars) was cowritten in 2007 with hip-hop historian Dustin Shekell and Public Enemy's Chuck D.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2007
    Age 39
    He also guest starred on 30 Rock in the 2007 episode "The Source Awards" as the hip-hop producer Ridikulous, who Tracy Jordan fears is going to kill him.
    More Details Hide Details LL Cool J appeared in Sesame Streets 39th season where he introduced the word of the day, "Unanimous", in episode 4169 (Sept. 22, 2008) and performing "The Addition Expedition" in episode 4172 (Sept. 30, 2008). LL Cool J is currently a series regular on the CBS police procedural NCIS: Los Angeles, a spin-off of NCIS (which itself is a spin-off of the naval legal drama JAG). He portrays NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna, an ex–Navy SEAL who is fluent in Arabic and an expert on West Asian culture.
  • 2006
    Age 38
    In July 2006, LL Cool J announced details about his final album with Def Jam Recordings, the only label he has ever been signed to.
    More Details Hide Details The album is titled Exit 13. The album was originally scheduled to be executively produced by fellow Queens rapper 50 Cent. Exit 13 was originally slated for a fall 2006 release, however, after a 2-year delay, it was released September 9, 2008 without 50 Cent as the executive producer. Tracks that the two worked on were leaked to the internet and some of the tracks produced with 50 made it to Exit 13. LL Cool J partnered with DJ Kay Slay to release a mixtape called "The Return of the G.O.A.T.". It was the first mixtape of his 24-year career and includes freestyling by LL Cool J in addition to other rappers giving their renditions of his songs. A track entitled "Hi Haterz" was leaked onto the internet on June 1, 2008. The song contains LL Cool J rapping over the instrumental to Maino's "Hi Hater". He toured with Janet Jackson on her Rock Witchu tour, only playing in Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, and Kansas City.
    LL Cool J's 11th album, Todd Smith, was released on April 11, 2006.
    More Details Hide Details It includes collaborations with 112, Ginuwine, Juelz Santana, Teairra Mari and Freeway. The first single was the Jermaine Dupri-produced "Control Myself" featuring Jennifer Lopez. They shot the video for "Control Myself" on January 2, 2006 at Sony Studios, New York. The second video, directed by Hype Williams, was "Freeze" featuring Lyfe Jennings.
  • 2004
    Age 36
    LL Cool J's 10th album The DEFinition was released on August 31, 2004.
    More Details Hide Details The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts. Production came from Timbaland, 7 Aurelius, R. Kelly, and others. The lead single was the Timbaland-produced "Headsprung", which peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single was the 7 Aurelius–produced, "Hush", which peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • 2002
    Age 34
    LL Cool J's next album 10 from 2002, was his 9th studio (10th overall including his greatest hits compilation All World), and included the singles "Paradise" (featuring Amerie), "Luv U Better", produced by Pharrell and The Neptunes and the 2003 Jennifer Lopez duet, "All I Have".
    More Details Hide Details The album reached platinum status.
  • 2000
    Age 32
    In 2000, LL Cool J released the album G.O.A.T., which stood for the "greatest of all time."
    More Details Hide Details It debuted at number one on the Billboard album charts, and went platinum. LL Cool J thanked Canibus in the liner notes of the album, "for the inspiration".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1997
    Age 29
    In 1997, he released the album Phenomenon.
    More Details Hide Details The singles included "Phenomenon" and "Father". The official second single from Phenomenon was "4, 3, 2, 1," which featured Method Man, Redman & Master P and introduced DMX and Canibus.
  • 1996
    Age 28
    In 1996, Def Jam released this "greatest hits" package, offering a good summary of Cool J's career, from the relentless minimalism of early hits such as "Rock the Bells" to the smooth-talking braggadocio that followed.
    More Details Hide Details Classic albums including Bigger and Deffer and Mama Said Knock You Out are well represented here.
  • 1990
    Age 22
    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. LL won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1992 for the title track.
    More Details Hide Details After acting in The Hard Way and Toys, LL Cool J released 14 Shots to the Dome. The album had three singles ("How I'm Comin'", "Back Seat" and the strangely titled "Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag Getting Crushed by Buildings") and guest-featured labelmates Lords of the Underground on "NFA-No Frontin' Allowed". The album went gold. LL Cool J starred in In the House, an NBC sitcom, before releasing Mr. Smith (1995), which went on to sell over two million copies. Its singles included "Doin' It" and "Loungin". Another of the album's singles, "Hey Lover", featured Boyz II Men sampling Michael Jackson's "The Lady in My Life," which eventually became one of the first hip-hop music videos to air on VH1. The song also earned him a Grammy Award. Yet another single from the album, "I Shot Ya Remix", included vocal work by Foxy Brown.
  • 1989
    Age 21
    LL Cool J's third album was 1989's Walking with a Panther.
    More Details Hide Details Released in 1989, the album was a commercial success, with several charting singles ("Going Back to Cali," "I'm That Type of Guy," "Jingling Baby," "Big Ole Butt," and "One Shot at Love"). The album however was often criticized by the hip-hop community as being too commercial and materialistic, and for focusing too much on love ballads. According to Billboard, the album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 and was LL Cool J's second #1 R&B Album where it spent four weeks. While the previous album Bigger and Deffer, which was a big success, was produced by The L.A. Posse (at the time consisting of Dwayne Simon, Darryl Pierce and, according to himself the most important for crafting the sound of the LP, Bobby "Bobcat" Ervin), Dwayne Simon was the only one left willing to work on producing Walking with a Panther. Bobcat said he wanted more money for the album after realizing how much of a success the previous album really had become but Def Jam refused to change the contract which made him leave Cool J. According to Bobcat this is the reason that Walking with a Panther was met with very mixed reception at the time of its release.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1987
    Age 19
    LL Cool J's second album was 1987's Bigger and Deffer, which was produced by DJ Pooh.
    More Details Hide Details This stands as his biggest-selling career album, having sold in excess of three million copies in the United States alone. It spent 11 weeks at #1 on Billboards R&B albums chart. It also reached #3 on the Billboards Pop albums chart. The album featured the singles "I'm Bad", the revolutionary "I Need Love" - LL's first #1 R&B and Top 40 hit, "Bristol Hotel", and "Go Cut Creator Go".
    Another milestone of LL's popularity was his appearance on American Bandstand as the first hip hop act on the show, as well as an appearance on Diana Ross' 1987 television special, Red Hot Rhythm & Blues.
    More Details Hide Details The album's success also helped in contributing to Rick Rubin's credibility and repertoire as a record producer. Radio, along with Raising Hell (1986) and Licensed to Ill (1986), would form a trilogy of New York City-based, Rubin-helmed albums that helped to diversify hip-hop. Rubin's production credit on the back cover reads "REDUCED BY RICK RUBIN", referring to his minimalist production style, which gave the album its stripped-down and gritty sound. This style would serve as one of Rubin's production trademarks and would have a great impact on future hip-hop productions. Rubin's early hip hop production work, before his exit from Def Jam to Los Angeles, helped solidify his legacy as a hip hop pioneer and establish his reputation in the music industry.
  • 1986
    Age 18
    Gigs at larger venues were offered to LL as he would join the 1986-'87 Raising Hell tour, opening for Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1968
    Age 0
    LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968, in Bay Shore, New York, the son of Ondrea Griffeth (born January 19, 1946) and James Louis Smith, Jr. His mother was born Andra Jolly and was adopted by Eugene Gladstone Griffith and Ellen E. Hightower.
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