LL Cool J Net Worth & Biography 2022: Wiki, Facts & Awards


LL Cool J Net Worth

LL Cool J in 2022 has estimated net worth of up to $121 Million.

[table id=57 /]

Full Biography of LL Cool J

American rapper and actor LL Cool J dreamed of fame from his youth, taking up music and acting in films. Having recorded his debut album, the artist soared to the pinnacle of success and has since been one of the most titled hip-hop artists of our time.

Childhood and youth

The rapper’s real name is James Todd Smith. The future musician was born on January 14, 1968 in the suburbs of New York. LL Cool J’s father had a bad temper and once almost shot his own wife, after which the mother took her 4-year-old son and moved to her parents in Queens, where LL Cool J spent his childhood.

LL Cool J grew up in a musical family: his mother played the accordion, his grandfather was a saxophonist. In addition, all the boys in Queens were sick of hip-hop, and LL Cool J decided to keep up: from the age of 10 he rapped, sang in the church choir.

When the teenager was 16, his grandfather and mother gave him a DJ set, after which LL Cool J began to create demo cassettes and send them to record labels in New York.


The first contract was offered to the upcoming rapper by Def Jam Recordings in the mid-80s. Then he came up with the pseudonym LL Cool J, which translates as “ladies love cool James”, and recorded the debut track, with which he first performed in front of the public at Manhattan Center High School.

The concert turned out to be a triumph: the fans screamed with delight and asked Smith for autographs, after which LL Cool J was finally convinced that he wanted to connect his professional biography with show business. The young man left school and focused on recording his debut album with the proceeds from the sale of the first hit.

LL Cool J opened his discography with the Radio compilation, which made a splash: the album stayed on the top lines of the hip-hop charts for 47 weeks, received gold and then platinum status and sold one and a half million copies in the year.

James’ new songs were included in the second Bigger and Deffer compilation, which became even more successful: it received multi-platinum status, was at number one on the Billboard R&B albums for 11 weeks, and the artist himself was nominated for an American Music Award.

The third of LL Cool J’s albums, Walking with a Panther, brought the rapper a Grammy nomination, although it was criticized for its commercial bias. James decided to rehabilitate himself in front of music experts and fans in the next collection Mama Said Knock You Out, making it more social and tough than the previous one.

For the title track of the album of the same name, the rapper received a Grammy, and the entire collection became the best-selling of LL Cool J’s career and strengthened the musician’s status as a hip-hop icon.

In the mid-90s, LL Cool J released 3 more successful albums, which were recognized as gold, platinum and multi-platinum, received his second Grammy statuette and began to collaborate with other show business stars.

So, James recorded a joint video with rapper Dr. Dre, mentioned artists DMX and Canibus in the tracks. In 2000, LL Cool J released the compilation GOAT, which critics dubbed “the greatest of all time”, 2 years later the album “10” appeared, the most famous hit of which was the duet with Jennifer Lopez All I Have.

Smith’s next album, The DEFinition, was produced by Timbaland and R. Kelly , and Pharrell Williams, among others, produced the next Todd Smith compilation . The first single of this disc was another collaboration with Jennifer Lopez Control Myself, for which the musicians filmed a joint video.

Since the mid-2000s, LL Cool J has continued to record albums, tour, including with other stars including Janet Jackson, and appear on television shows. In 2016, Cool J received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and two years later was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

LL Cool J also helps develop other musicians and owns several of his own record labels.

Check here for the latest Biography and Net Worth article. >>>


James made his screen debut in the mid-80s, portraying himself in the musical Crash Grove. In 1991, the rapper starred in the action movie Breakthrough, the soundtrack to which was LL Cool J’s hit Mama Said Knock You Out.

Since then, in parallel with the creation of singles and videos for them, LL Cool J has regularly appeared in films and TV shows.

LL Cool J


In his youth, the musician received a major role in the sitcom “In the House”, for which he was first nominated for a film award. In 2000, James was named Best Supporting Actor by the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for his role in the horror film The Deep Blue Sea.

Another memorable work of the American actor was shooting in the sports drama Every Sunday. LL Cool J got used to the role so much that he got into a fight on the court with Jamie Foxx. The conflict ended with the arrival of the police, however, the artists themselves did not keep evil at each other, but, on the contrary, became friends.

Later, Cool J appeared in the comedy Charlie’s Angels, the thriller Mindhunters and other feature films, and also occasionally starred in high-rated series. For example, the actor can be seen in the serial projects House Doctor and Marine Police, for his work in the latter, James was nominated for several television awards.

Personal life

The artist’s wife was Simone Johnson – his teenage love. The girl gave birth to the first child to the rapper when he was 19 years old, but parental responsibilities drove LL Cool J crazy. After numerous scandals and fights, the young people fled, then reconciled and had another baby, but again dispersed.

Simone Smith (L) and actor LL Cool J

Finally, in 1995, the lovers finally reconciled and tied the knot in their personal lives. Later they had two more children, and the musician realized how important it is to take care of loved ones. Now a large Smith family lives in the village of Manhasset in the state of New York.

LL Cool J now

In 2021, Cool J was recognized for his musical prowess with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The rapper also presented the next album From LL, With Love, which included six tracks.

In October 2021, at the BET Hip-Hop Awards, the musician presented a new award named after his 1985 track Rock the Bells. James published a photo with a statuette for cultural influence on rap and hip-hop on his own Instagram account.

LL Cool J Discography

  • 1985 – Radio
  • 1987 Bigger and Deffer
  • 1989 – Walking with a Panther
  • 1990 – Mama Said Knock You Out
  • 1993 – 14 Shots to the Dome
  • 1995 – Mr. Smith
  • 1997 – Phenomenon
  • 2000 – GOAT
  • 2002-10
  • 2004—The DEFinition
  • 2006 – Todd Smith
  • 2008 – Exit 13
  • 2013 – Authentic
  • 2021 – ‎From LL, With Love

LL Cool J Filmography

  • 1991 – “Ahead”
  • 1992 – “Toys”
  • 1995-1999 – “In the house”
  • 1998 – Halloween: 20 Years Later
  • 1999 – Deep Blue Sea
  • 2000 – “Charlie’s Angels”
  • 2003 – Deliver Us From Eve
  • 2004 – Mindhunters
  • 2005 – “Doctor House”
  • 2008 – Deal
  • 2009 – “Marine Police: Special Department”
  • 2009-2021 — NCIS: Los Angeles

Interesting Facts about LL Cool J

  • The musician has written several books: the autobiography I Make My Own Rules, the children’s edition And The Winner Is, the fitness book The Platinum Workout and others.
  • LL Cool J releases sportswear under the brands Todd Smith and TS
  • Thanks to the show Find Your Roots, James found out that his mother was adopted, and his biological relative is boxer John Henry Lewis.
  • In 1997, the album Rapsody Overture was released, which includes remixes of hip-hop and classics performed by American rappers and European opera singers. Cool J recorded the track Dear Mallika for the compilation, which includes his recitative and music from the opera “Lakme”.