LL Cool J Net Worth 2022 (Forbes) – Salary, Income, Wife

LL Cool J Net Worth 

LL Cool J has an estimated net worth of $120 million. LL Cool J made it big with Def Jam Records in the 1980s and ’90s with albums like ‘Mama Said Knock You Out.’ He has also appeared in films like ‘Any Given Sunday’ and starred in the TV series ‘NCIS: Los Angeles.’ He earns most of his income from album sales, movies, TV series, and the fashion business. 

LL Cool J is a nickname that stands for “Ladies Love Cool James.” LL Cool J signed with the fledgling hip-hop label Def Jam Records in 1984. After a string of hits – on albums including Bigger and Deffer, Walking with a Panther, Mama Said Knock You Out, 14 Shots to the Dome and Mr. Smith – LL turned to acting, starring in films such as B.A.P.S., Halloween H2O and Any Given Sunday. In 2009, he began his role in the popular investigative series NCIS: Los Angeles.

LL Cool J has also earned millions from his clothing business. In 1996, he was also involved in the launch of a clothing line by FUBU. In addition, he collaborated with hip-hop sportswear line TROOP and launched a clothing line called Todd Smith, which produces popular urban clothing. In 2018, LL signed a contract with Sears to design and sell an affordable clothing line for families.

He is also the founder of Boomdizzle.com, a record label and social networking website launched in 2009.

To calculate the net worth of LL Cool J, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets.

All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: LL Cool J
Net Worth: $120 Million
Salary Per Episode: $350 Thousand 
Annual Income: $10 Million
Source of Wealth: Actor, Record Producer, Writer, Author, Rapper, Singer-songwriter, Entrepreneur

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Early Life

LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968, in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York. Growing up in New York City, Smith adopted the stage name LL Cool J, which stands for “Ladies Love Cool James.”

The outgoing teenager signed with Def Jam Records, a then fledgling rap label founded by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, in 1984. LL released the hit “I Need a Beat” shortly thereafter, which sold more than 100,000 copies.

Music and Acting Career

The young artist dropped out of school to record his debut album, Radio, a hugely successful blend of traditional song structure and pop-oriented rap. Music fans reacted positively to the album’s singles, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” and “Rock the Bells,” purchasing more than 1 million copies.

Around this time, he played himself in the feature film Krush Groove (1985), which was a fictionalized version of Def Jam’s early days. The film also featured members of Run-D.M.C., Fat Boys, and New Edition. His first speaking role was in Wildcats, a 1986 high school football comedy.

LL Cool J showed his softer side in his follow-up album, 1987’s Bigger and Deffer, with the popular ballad “I Need Love.” The song achieved success on both the rap and pop charts. He returned to the charts two years later with his album Walking with a Panther.

However, it was his fourth album, Mama Said Knock You Out (1990), that became his best-selling to date. With the title track, LL Cool J won over new fans by projecting a tougher, more “street” persona. The single was as popular in middle America as it was in his youth’s urban surroundings.

LL won his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for the song. The album also included the chart-topping ballad “Around the Way Girl” and the straightforward rap “The Boomin’ System.”

After stumbling with the “gangsta” style 14 Shots to the Dome in 1993, LL Cool J played up his sexy image with Mr. Smith in 1995. “Doin’ It,” the explicit single, featured a duet with rapper LeShaun. Another album hit, the romantic slow jam “Hey Lover,” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.

By the late 1990s, LL Cool J had made the transition from rapper to actor. He appeared in the 1997 comedy B.A.P.S., directed by Robert Townsend and starring Halle Berry, as well as the 1998 horror film Halloween H2O, which starred Jamie Lee Curtis.

In 1999’s Any Given Sunday, LL demonstrated his acting abilities by playing a supporting role opposite Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, and Jamie Foxx. That same year, he co-starred in the crime drama In Too Deep with Omar Epps and Samuel L. Jackson. Around the same time, LL Cool J published his autobiography, I Make My Own Rules, in 1997.

LL Cool J released G.O.A.T. in 2000, juggling his music and acting projects, and it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. He then co-starred with Jada Pinkett Smith and Vivica A. Fox in the 2001 family drama Kingdom Come.

LL Cool J also wrote a children’s book, And the Winner Is, which was published in 2002, demonstrating his true versatility. Nonetheless, he never gave up on music. He released 10 in 2003, which included a duet with Jennifer Lopez.

LL Cool J continued to thrive as an actor, appearing in the 2003 romantic comedy Deliver Us From Eva alongside Gabrielle Union. He also appeared in Michael Mann’s big-budget action film S.W.A.T. (2003), alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell. He then landed the lead role in the 2005 crime drama Mindhunters, in which he played a young FBI profiler.

Around this time, LL Cool J was still having a lot of success with his music. In 2004, he released The DEFinition, which included the hit single “Headsprung.” LL soon revealed the secrets to his incredible physique. He co-wrote LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout: Sculpt Your Best Body Ever with Hollywood’s Fittest Star in 2006.

That same year, he co-starred in the romantic comedy Last Holiday with Queen Latifah, which grossed more than $38 million at the box office. LL also co-starred with Ray Liotta in the 2007 independent crime thriller Slow Burn.

Exit 13 was LL Cool J’s return to music in 2008. “I’m not attempting to be new school or old school. I’m a classic “In an interview with Jet magazine, he described his latest release.

LL Cool J made his television debut as a lead in the crime drama NCIS: Los Angeles, alongside Chris O’Donnell. The show, a spinoff of the hit series NCIS, stars O’Donnell and LL Cool J as Navy investigators tasked with solving military-related crimes on the West Coast. It was the most popular new drama of the 2009 fall television season.

LL Cool J has dabbled in a variety of business ventures aside from music and acting. In 1996, he launched the FUBU (For Us, By Us) clothing line.

In 2008, he signed a deal with Sears to design and sell a family-friendly clothing line. He graduated from Harvard University’s Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports program in November 2017.

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Recent Projects

LL Cool J released a new album, Authentic, in 2013. On the record, he collaborated with a number of musicians, including Bootsy Collins, Eddie Van Halen, and Chuck D. That same year, LL co-starred with Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro in the boxing drama Grudge Match.

The actor/rapper also has a successful hosting career. For several years, he presided over the Grammy Awards. LL took over as host of the popular celebrity competition Lip Sync Battle in 2015.

LL Cool J has received special recognition for his diverse abilities. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2016. In December 2017, he became the first rapper to be honored at the Kennedy Center Honors, America’s highest honor for a performer.

“This one is for those who came before me and those who followed,” LL responded on Instagram. We were all sent here to love and inspire one another. Make our dreams a reality by manifesting them. I hope I’ve inspired you as much as you have inspired me.”

Personal Life and Wife

Since 1995, LL Cool J has been married to his wife Simone. They are the parents of four children.

In August 2012, the actor made headlines when he broke the nose and jaw of a suspected burglar at his home in Studio City, Los Angeles.

According to reports, LL Cool J was upstairs at home when he heard noises coming from the first floor and went down to investigate. A fight ensued, with LL eventually overtaking the suspect (who was later hospitalized for his injuries) and holding him down until police arrived.

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LL Cool J Quotes

“I think when you move past your fear and you go after your dreams wholeheartedly, you become free.”


“You can do anything you put your heart, mind and soul into. Far more than you can imagine. Be fearless. Do it.”


“When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.”


“Hip-hop’s always reached out to kids. If you look at the last 10 big albums it might seem ironic. But when I look at the history of this music it’s always had a lot of positivity.”


“How others judge me is none of my business.”


“Stand up and face your fears, or they will defeat you.”


“I don’t think you should go around talking trash about people because I think that’s how you get your hat handed to you.”

View our larger collection of the best LL Cool J quotes. 

Further Reading

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