LL Cool J Net Worth

LL Cool J Net Worth
Net Worth: $120 Million
Salary: $350,000 Per Episode
Real Name: James Todd Smith
Date of Birth: 14th January 1968
Age: 56 years old
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.86 m)
Profession: Rapper, Singer, Songwriter, Record Producer, Actor, Entrepreneur
Nationality: American
Updated: 1st July 2023
LL Cool J Net Worth:
$120 Million

LL Cool J's Salary

$350,000 Per Episode

In the mid-1985s, LL Cool J is one of the few hip-hop acts to achieve mainstream success, along with the likes of Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC. LL Cool J debuted the hit single I Need a Beat, and his debut studio album Radio played a major part in pioneering the golden age of hip-hop—the old-school disco rap stylings were fading. The new school of hip-hop was partially inspired by LL’s first studio album, where later hip-hop artists can be seen gearing more toward an aggressive, self-assertive style where artists tend to project a tough and cool b-boy attitude in both their image and videos.

LL Cool J originally stage-named himself J-Ski, but the word ski at that time has a negative connotation—he didn’t want to associate his stage name with cocaine culture. His friend and fellow rapper Mickey D coined his current stage name LL Cool J short for Ladies Love Cool James.

Aside from his great talent in music, LL is also a well-known actor. He appeared in many films and TV shows, including S.W.A.T. and Any Given Sunday, where the starred alongside acclaimed Hollywood actors. LL hosted the Grammy Awards show for five consecutive years, from 2012 to 2016. And LL Cool J himself was a two-time Grammy award winner, along with many other accolades.

What is LL Cool J’s Net Worth?

LL Cool J’s music career spans over 37 years and is ongoing, with 13 studio albums released and millions and millions of copies sold worldwide. The CBS crime-drama TV series NCIS: Los Angeles LL Cool J is reportedly paid $350,000 per episode. The show had been aired since 2009 and is currently on its 13th season in 2022. In August 2020, LL Cool J’s net worth is around US$120 million.

At just only 54 years of age, LL is expected to be around for some time with his music, films, and TV series. His net worth is expected to keep on increasing.  

Who is LL Cool J?

LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, is a rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. LL was born on January 14, 1968, in Bay Shore, New York. LL is the son of James Louis Smith Jr. and Ondrea Griffith. 

He grew up in Queens, and during his childhood, LL experienced a very turbulent life. When LL was just 4 years of age, before his parents finalize their separation, his father burst into anger and shot his grandfather and mother. After the scene, LL found both his grandfather and mother lying in a pool of blood on the floor with bullet wounds to the stomach. 

That same year, in 1972, LL and his mother moved to live with his grandparents in St. Albans, Queens. When LL was eight, his mother entered into a relationship with a physical therapist named Roscoe Granger. LL greatly suffered physically and psychologically from the abuse committed by Roscoe. LL Cool J said: “He would beat me for watching television, for lookin’ at him funny, for looking out the window watching other kids play. He didn’t need a good reason. It was just a power trip.

Hip-hop was a popular music genre in Queens, LL began learning how to rap at the age of 10. Seeing how LL was enthusiastic about music, his grandfather bought him $2,000 worth of music equipment, including turntables, an audio mixer, and an amplifier. His mother was equally supportive, she used her tax refund to buy him a drum machine. In 1984, LL started creating his demo tapes at his grandparents’ home from the music instrument his grandfather and mother gifted him and sent it out to various record companies throughout New York City, including Def Jam Recordings.

Music Career

LL’s original stage name was J-Ski, but since it has a negative annotation associated with cocaine culture, his friend, Mickey D, coined his current stage name, Ladies Love Cool James (LL Cool J). At 16, in 1984, Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons, the founders of Def Jam Recordings, loved LL demos. When LL was onboard, Def Jam launched LL’s first official song, I Need a Beat. The debut single sold more than 100,000 copies which helped to establish Def Jam Recordings as an official record label and LL as a rapper.

The success gave LL the confidence to put school on hold and pursue his music career. The release of LL’s debut studio album Radio in 1985 was praised for its innovation and powerful lyrics and went on to sell more than 1.5 million copies just in the U.S. alone, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 1989, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA.

The album was popular across several music genres, including the R&B/Hip-hop chart, Top BillioF 200 chart, and Pop Albums chart. Making LL one of the few rappers of that generation to achieve mainstream success.

LL’s second studio album, released in 1987, Bigger and Differ, it’s arguably one of his biggest-selling career albums. The album stayed at the number one spot for 11 weeks on Billboard’s R&B charts. In the United States alone, the album sold over 20 million copies.

His third album Walking with a Panther was released in 1989; although it was still a commercial success was not well-received by his fans and the hip-hop community as it was too focused on ‘love ballads.

In response to criticism, in LL’s fourth album, Mama Said Knock You Out (1990), he set out to prove to his critics that he’s still staying relevant to his originality—the album was filled with hard-hitting tracks, powerful beats, and energy. The comeback album led LL to win a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1992 and became the top-selling album of his career with over 2.7 million copies sold—certified double platinum by the RIAA.

After this, for the next two decades, the ambitious LL Cool J juggled between his music and acting career and also other ventures. Though he continued to churn out albums, the degree of success was varied. His sixth album Mr. Smith sold over 2 million copies and won him another Grammy award.

In 1996, Def Jam Recordings released his greatest hits titled All World: Greatest Hits. In 2000, he released his eighth album G.O.A.T. (short for Greatest of All Time); the album debuted at the number 1 spot on the Billboard album charts, and reached the top of the US Billboard 200 list—it remains his only album to do so. The album was certified platinum. In 2008, LL Cool J announced that Exit 13 will be his last album to be released with Def Jam Recordings; 50 Cent was the executive producer. The album also featured many other artists, such as 50 CentSheek Louch, and Fat Joe. In 2019, LL announced he re-signed with Def Jam Recordings.

Acting Career

LL Cool J’s first appearance on the big screen was in 1985 as a rapper in the movie Krush Groove. His first acting debut was in a small role in the film Wildcats. Resulted from his fame and success as a music artist help him to earn roles in films such as the fantasy comedy film Toys (1992) and The Hard Way.

From 1995 to 1999, LL Cool J starred in his own TV sitcom on NBC’s In The House. From 1996 to 2009, LL acted in various movies of different genres and TV shows: The Halloween franchise, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Rollerball (2002), Deliver Us from Eva (2003), S.W.A.T. (2003), Mindhunters (2004).

LL co-starred in the 1999’s science-fiction horror film Deep Blue Sea, the film became a blockbuster and grossed more than $250 million worldwide. In the same year, LL Cool J starred alongside acclaimed Hollywood actors Al Pacino and Cameron Diaz in the sports-drama film Any Given Sunday. While filming a scene, LL and co-star Jamie Foxx got into a real fistfight.

In 2009, LL Cool J is the main cast member of the CBS action TV series NCIS: Los Angeles, in which he plays special agent Sam Hanna, a Navy investigator. The show is currently on its 22nd season and will be moving into its 23rd season in October of 2022. LL Cool J reportedly earned $350,000 per episode.

Other Ventures

In 1993, LL Cool J started his record label P.O.G. (Power Of God) along with his own music production company Rock The Bells. In 2008, he founded Boomdizzle.com as a record label and a platform as a music social networking site where amateur artists can upload their music and get rated by other users, similar to SoundCloud. The next year LL launched his clothing line of urban apparel calling it Todd Smith.

LL Cool J has written four books, an autobiography, a children-oriented book, a fitness book, and a hip-hop-related book.

Personal Life

From 1992 to 1994 LL Cool J dated Kidada Jones, the daughter of prominent record producer Quincy Jones.

In 1995 he married an entrepreneur and fashionista Simone Johnson. LL Cool J met his wife by chance when he was driving in his mother’s car in 1987. The couple currently has four children.

In 2018, LL announced in public that he had forgiven his father and they reconciled. In a documentary TV series, LL learned that his mother was adopted, and also learned about his biological grandparents through a DNA test.

Interesting Facts about LL Cool J

  • At 16, when girls screamed and asked for his autographs after a music performance he knew music will be his path
  • LL is against illegal music downloads such as P2P by making his case at a U.S. Senate Committee hearing
  • He is considered one of the pioneers of new school hip-hop
  • In 1993, he performed at President Clinton’s inauguration ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial.
  • In 2001 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an award for Musical Excellence
  • In 2007, LL became the first rapper to receive the Kennedy Center HonorsIn 2010, VH1 placed him on their 100 Great Artists of All Time list
  • In 2012, LL broke an intruder’s nose, jaw, and ribs inside his LA home. He later handed the severely injured intruder over to the police
  • In 2015 he appeared in the opening ceremony of WrestleMania 31
  • In 2016 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

LL Cool J FAQs

What is LL Cool J Net Worth?

LL Cool J net worth is currently $120 million USD.

How much money does LL Cool J earn?

LL Cool J earns $350,000 per episode from various sources.

How tall is LL Cool J?

LL Cool J is 6 ft 1 in (1.86 m)

How old is LL Cool J?

LL Cool J is currently 56 years old.

When is LL Cool J birthday?

LL Cool J birthday is on 14th January.