What is LL Cool J Net Worth?, Biography | Salary | Career | Private Life and more

What is LL Cool J Net Worth?

What is LL Cool J net worth and salary? LL Cool J is a $120 million net worth American rapper and actor. He was one of the first hip-hop artists to break through into the mainstream. He is also well-known for his role in the network television series NCIS: Los Angeles. His salary on NCIS is $350,000 per episode.

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Early Years, Biography, and Personal Life

LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968 in Bay Shore, New York. Ondrea Griffith was his mother’s name, and James Louis Smith Jr, also known as James Nunya, was his father’s real name. James’ father shot and nearly killed both his grandfather and mother. LL Cool found our parents when he was four years old, but there was blood everywhere.

In the episode Finding Your Roots, he learns that Eugene Griffith and Ellen Hightower adopted his mother. Mr. Smith began singing when he was ten years old, influenced by the Treacherous Three’s hip-hop group. In March 1984, at the age of 16, he attempted to create demo tapes in his grandparents’ home.

His jazz saxophonist grandfather gave him $2,000 in equipment, including an audio mixer, two turntables, and an amplifier. His mother, on the other hand, backed his musician wisdom. By giving him Korg drum machine with her tax refund. 

Smith stated in the interview that he was already rapper when he received musical equipment from relatives. His neighborhood kids enjoy and learn from his rap skills.Furthermore, if you were raised in Spanish-speaking home, he learned to speak Spanish.

Family info:


Siblings: Brother- N/A
Sister- Nina Simone, Samaria Leah, and Italia Anita
Parents Father – James Nunya
Mother – Ondrea Smith
Eye color Black
Hair color Black
Zodiac Sign Capricorn
Marital Status Married
Religious Christian
Profession: Rapper, Record Producer, Actor
Children: Son:

Najee Laurent Todd Eugene Smith.


Samaria Leah Wisdom Smith, Nina Simone Smith, Italia Anita Maria Smith.

Wife/Girlfriend Simone Johnson (m. 1995)
Last Updated: July 2022
Gender:  Male


LL Cool J Career

When LL Cool J met Rick Rubin at the age of 16, he launched his musical career. Rubin was impressed by his music, and the two collaborated on a single, ‘I Need a Beat.’ They later sent the single to artist manager Russell Simmons, who also liked it. Simmon and Rubin founded Def Jam Recordings the same year.

Cool J’s success in the music industry caused him to drop out of school and begin working on his debut album. ‘Radio’ was released in 1985 and received a lot of positive feedback for its powerful lyrics, selling over 1.5 million copies.

Despite promising acting career, LL Cool continued to release albums that were moderate to major successes from 2000 to 2008. ‘Exit 13′, his final album with ‘Def Jam Recordings,’ was released in 2008. 
The following year, LL Cool was cast as regular on the still-running CBS television show ‘NCIS: Los Angeles.’
LL Cool J Net Worth is estimated to be around $120 million.

Rapper’s Career

Smith began recording his own songs and submitting them to various record labels. His demo ended up in the hands of the people at Def Jam Recordings. Def Jam liked the demo and released his debut album. The song was released under his new stage name, L L Cool J (Ladies Love Cool James). Cool J was popular in the rap industry and throughout America, because his 1984 single “I Need a Beat” sold over 100,000 copies. As a result, he dropped out of high school to record his first album.

His debut album, “Radio,” was a huge success, selling 1,500,000 copies and earning him a platinum certification. Beyond financial success, it was also a critical success, with Cool J introducing conventional song structure, which made rap more approachable to the average listener. He’d follow it up with “Bigger and Deffer” in 1987. One of the first pop-rap songs was “I Need Love.”

He received widespread critical and commercial acclaim, with the album going 2X platinum. He would return in 1989 with another platinum-selling album, Walking with a Panther. During this period, the western hip-hop scene began to emerge.

The hip-hop community’s themes began to include more gangster themes. “Mama Said Knock You Out” was released in 1990. The album had a rougher edge, which appealed to hip-new hop’s face… It was regarded as yet another triumph.

Unfortunately, his follow-up album, released in 1993, was a flop with critics and audiences alike. He took two years off and started acting. He appeared in the films “The Hard Way” and “Toys” during this time period. In addition, he appeared on the NBC sitcom “In The House.” Mr. Smith, his debut album, was released in 1995.

The album included collaborations with Boys II Men and even a cover of Michael Jackson’s “The Lady in My Life.” The music video would go on to become one of the first hip-hop videos to air on VH1, earning LL a Grammy. More than 2 million copies of this album were sold. Following Phenomenon, LL Cool J released G.O.A.T, which went platinum and debuted at number one on the Billboard album charts.

“10,” LL Cool J’s ninth studio album, was released in 2002. It debuted at number four on the Billboard 200. LL Cool J went on to release four more studio albums, all of which were met with varying degrees of success. From February 2012 to February 2016, LL Cool J hosted the Grammy Awards five years in a row. It was announced in September 2019 that LL Cool J had rejoined Def Jam Records and that new music was in the works.
In January 2016, LL Cool received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.LL Cool became the first rapper to be recognized at the Annual Kennedy Center Honors in December 2017, which is America’s highest honor for performer.
He responded to the honor with an Instagram post that read: “This one is dedicated to those who came before me and those who came after me. We were all sent here to love and inspire one another. Make our dreams reality by manifesting them. 

Career in Acting

LL Cool J has an impressive resume of recognizable acting roles in addition to his successful music career. His first acting role was in Wildcats, a high school football film. In 1992, he played Captain Patric Zevo in Toys. From 1995 to 1998, LL Cool J had his own TV sitcom, In the House.

He played a famous ex-football player who runs into financial difficulties and is forced to rent out a portion of his home to a single mother and her two children. He had a small part in Halloween H20 in 1998. Over the next few years, he appeared in films such as Deliver Us from Eva, S.W.A.T., and Mindhunters.

He has played a leading role in NCIS: Los Angeles, a CBS police procedural, since 2009. Sam Hanna, an NCIS Special Agent and ex-Navy SEAL, is played by LL Cool J. He has hosted the popular celebrity competition game show Lip Sync Battle since April 2015.


Best moments from LL Cool J’s career:

  • Radio (Album, 1985)
  • I Need Love (Song, 1987)
  • Doin It (Song, 1995)
  • G.O.A.T (Album, 2000)
  • Headsprung (Song, 2004)
  • Kennedy Center Honors (2017) – Won

LL Cool J’s Awards and Achievements

Here is a list of some of LL Cool J’s awards and accomplishments.

Grammy Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1989 “Going Back To Cali” Table Nominated




“Mama Said Knock You Out” 

“Strictly Business”

“Stand By Your Man”

“Hey Lover”

Best Rap Solo Performance Won 



1997 Mr. Smith Best Rap Album Nominated
1998 “Ain’t Nobody” Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated
2004 “Luv U Better” Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Nominated
2005 The DEFinition Best Rap Album Nominated


Other Activities

LL Cool J has collaborated with the hip-hop sportswear label TROOP. He was also involved in the 1996 launch of a clothing line through FUBU. Todd Smith, his clothing line, produces popular urban wear. In 2008, LL signed a deal with Sears to design and sell a family-friendly clothing line. In 2009, he launched Boomdizzle.com, a record label and social networking site.

In November 2017, LL Cool J graduated from Harvard University’s Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports program. LL Cool J has published four books: I Make My Own Rules (an autobiography) in 1998, And The Winner Is in 2002, The Platinum Workout in 2006 (written with his trainer), and LL Cool J in 2007. (Hip Hop Stars.)


LL Cool J Summary

LL Cool J is one of the world’s wealthiest rappers. He has been a well-known hip-hop icon since the 1980s, and he has worked with some of the world’s best producers and artists. The net worth of LL Cool J is estimated to be $120 million.



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