Hometown: New York
Birthday: January 14
Two-time Grammy Award winner and five-time NAACP Image Award winner LL COOL J is an entertainment icon who has worked in music, film, television, publishing, fashion and philanthropy.
First introduced to the world in 1984 as a Def Jam Records’ flagship artist, LL is the first rap artist to amass 10 consecutive platinum-plus selling albums. The multi-platinum artist and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee is currently tied for third place for the most Billboard chart debuts by a rapper.
In December 2017, LL became the first rapper to earn the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor, which is America’s highest achievement for any performer. LL received a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016 for his achievement in music.
LL has appeared in more than 30 films and starred opposite acclaimed actors such as Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell in “S.W.A.T.,” Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz in “Any Given Sunday” and Gabrielle Union in “Deliver Us from Eva.” Other film credits include “Rollerball,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Kingdom Come,” “In Too Deep,” “Toys” and “Slow Burn” with Ray Liotta. He received a Blockbuster Award for Best Comedic Performance as Chef in Renny Harlin’s action film “Deep Blue Sea.”
He transitioned to television with a dramatic performance in the second season premiere of “House” and a comedic guest-starring role on “30 Rock” as hip hop mogul Ridikolus.
Currently, LL is hosting and executive producing the hit show “Lip Sync Battle” on Paramount Network, which initially premiered April 2015 as Spike TV’s most-watched original program ever. The series, which aired its fourth season in January 2018, has amassed over half a billion video streams since its launch. In 2017 the show earned its second Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Structured Reality Program, and LL won a NAACP Image Award in 2018 for Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety Series or Special.
In March, LL launched his own SiriusXM classic hip-hop channel titled “LL COOL J’s Rock The Bells Radio.” The channel features a wide range of classic hip-hop content, including music, interviews and in-depth retrospective curated and presented by the award-winning artist.
Most recently, LL executive produced the MSNBC three-part docuseries “Story of Cool,” which premiered July 1. “Story of Cool” looks back at what Americans have considered “cool” throughout the decades and examines the people, places and things that define this ubiquitous, amorphous word.
LL is the accomplished author of two fitness books: LL COOL J’s Platinum Workout, which was a New York Times bestseller, and LL COOL J’s Platinum 360 Diet and Lifestyle, which he released in 2010.
LL has always been an avid philanthropist involved in numerous causes, including literacy for kids as well as in-school music and arts programs. Celebrating its 14th anniversary this year, his charity “Jump & Ball,” which takes place every August in his hometown of Queens, N.Y., aims to give back to his local community by offering an athletic and team-building program dedicated to bringing wholesome fun to young people.
Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @LLCOOLJ.