If you were a hip-hop head in the early days of the genre’s inception, then you may be familiar with LL Cool J. The New York native burst onto the music scene in 1984 and quickly became a commercial success.
His debut album, Radio, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and paved the way for LL’s triumphant tenure. LL went on to build an impressive business portfolio while maintaining his place as one of the pioneers of hip-hop.
It’s clear that LL is a powerhouse in the entertainment industry but some may be surprised by just how much the rapper-turned-actor has earned during his career. Here's a breakdown of LL's net worth.
How did LL Cool J build his net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, LL Cool J is worth a hefty $120 million. Per the database, LL’s massive fortune comes from earnings from his music projects, acting roles, television appearances, and his Sirius XM radio station.
LL Cool J
Net worth: $120 million
LL Cool J rose to prominence in the late 80's as one of the pioneers of hip-hop. He has since won two Grammys and currently stars as Sam Hanna in the NCIS franchise.
Birthname: James Todd Smith
Birthdate: January 14, 1968
Birthplace: Queens, New York
Spouse: Simone Smith (m. 1995)
Mom: James Smith
Dad: Ondrea Smith
Following the release of his debut project, LL’s career took off. His second album, Bigger and Deffer, reached the No. 3 spot and produced singles like “I’m Bad” and “I Need Love.” LL went on to release 11 more studio albums before venturing into acting.
LL previously opened up about the decision to shift to acting and revealed that he always had thespian aspirations but was afraid to be seen without his hat on. Needless to say, he got over it! LL has been a prominent fixture on NCIS: Los Angeles for 14 Seasons.
His character, Sam Hanna, is an integral part of the fictional crime-fighting team and LL is paid well for his time. He reportedly earns $350,000 per episode and there are typically 14 episodes in each season.
The series ended in early 2023, but LL’s time with the franchise is far from over. In May of that same year, it was announced that he would be joining NCIS: Hawaii for Season 3, reprising his role as beloved agent Hanna.
Similarly, LL’s music career has been just as lucrative. His debut album sold more than 1.5 million copies and his follow-up projects garnered similar success. In 2017, LL became the first rapper to be awarded a Kennedy Center Honors award, solidifying his place as a hip-hop icon.
What is LL Cool J doing now?
In addition to being part of NCIS: Hawaii, LL spends his time working on various other projects.
In 2018, he launched Rock The Bells Radio on SiriusXM. The station plays classic hip-hop hits and provides a space for other hip-hop legends to connect with fans. Too $hort, Roxanne Shante, and Torae have all hosted shows on the satellite platform and LL regularly makes appearances on their shows.
LL also has a very active social media presence. He boasts more than three million followers on Instagram, where he regularly shares updates on his life, music, and other creative ventures.
Similarly, the hip-hop legend's personal life is thriving. He has been married to his wife, Simone I. Smith, for nearly 30 years. The couple share four children.
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