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James Todd Smith

Birthplace: Bay Shore, Suffolk County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James "Nunya" Smith and Private
Husband of Private
Half brother of Private and Private

Occupation: Hip-hop artist, author, actor
Managed by: Kevin Lawrence Hanit
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
      half sibling
    • Private
      half sibling

About LL Cool J

Hip-hop artist, author and actor 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."

LL Cool J is regarded as one of the most succesful rap artists of all time. He has released 13 studio albums and two greatest hits compilations.

He has also appeared in numerous films, including In Too Deep, Any Given Sunday, S.W.A.T., and Edison. He currently stars in an action role as NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna, on the CBS crime drama television series NCIS: Los Angeles. LL Cool J is also the host of Lip Sync Battle on Spike. He is also well known as a serious bodybuilder.

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 21, 2016.

family & background

James Todd Smith was born to James and Ondrea Smith. At the age of four, he saw his mother and grandfather shot by his own father. He was then raised by his maternal grandparents.

In March 1984, when NYU student Rick Rubin and promoter-manager Russell Simmons founded the then-independent Def Jam label, 16 year–old Hollis, Queens native James Todd Smith was creating demo tapes in his grandparents' home. His grandfather, a jazz saxophonist, purchased him $2,000 worth of equipment, including two turntables, an audio mixer and an amplifier.

Smith later discussed his childhood background and rapping, stating that "By the time I got that equipment, I was already a rapper. In this neighborhood, the kids grow up in rap. It's like speaking Spanish if you grow up in an all-Spanish house. I got into it when I was about 9, and since then all I wanted was to make a record and hear it on the radio."

LL Cool J has been married to wife Simone since 1995. They have four children together: (one boy and three girls): Najee (b. 1989), Italia (b. 1990), Samaria (b. 1995), and Nina Simone (b. 2000).

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LL Cool J's Timeline

January 14, 1968
Bay Shore, Suffolk County, New York, United States