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LL Cool J Biography

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.

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking LL Cool J for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on LL Cool J speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking LL Cool J for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on LL Cool J speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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