LL Cool J hosted, for the fifth consecutive time, the Grammy Awards on Monday. Ever since his first hit single “I Need a Beat” at age 16, he has been one of rap’s greatest stars. Today, after 33 years in the business, LL Cool J is worth a staggering $100 million.
LL Cool J Net Worth as of 2019: $100 Million
Let’s take a look at how he got to where he is today.
LL Cool J’s parents divorced when he was four, and he was raised by his grandparents in Queens, New York. He began rapping when he was nine. His grandfather shelled out a whopping $2000 to buy him a DJ system when he was 11. LL made tapes in his basement, and sent them out to record companies. Def Jam, a newly formed independent record company saw his potential, and took him on. In 1984 “I Need a Beat” became Def Jam’s first release. It sold 100,000 copies, and LL dropped out of high school.
1985 – 1987
LL’s debut album, Radio, sold over 500,000 copies in its first five months. The album peaked at number 6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, remaining on the chart for 47 weeks. Radio went on to achieve platinum status, selling over 1,500,000 copies. On top of being a commercial success, Radio was also a critical success, marking the beginning of hip-hop’s “golden age” and the replacement of old school hip hop.
1987 – 1993
LL followed it up in 1987 with Bigger and Deffer, which became the highest grossing album of his career, totaling over 3 million copies in US sales alone. It spent 11 weeks at #1 on Billboard‘s R&B albums chart.
His third album was 1989’s Walking with a Panther. The album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 and was LL Cool J’s second #1 R&B Album where it spent four weeks.
In 1990, LL released Mama Said Knock You Out, his fourth studio album. The Marley Marl produced album received critical acclaim and eventually went X2 Platinum selling over 2 million copies.
1993 – 2005
At this point in his career, LL began to dabble in acting. After performing in The Hard Way and Toys, LL Cool J released 14 Shots to the Dome. The album went gold.
LL starred in In the House, an NBC sitcom, before releasing Mr. Smith, which went on to sell over two million copies.
In 2000, LL Cool J released the album G.O.A.T., which stood for the “greatest of all time.” It debuted at number one on the Billboard album charts, and went platinum.
LL Cool J’s next album 10 from 2002, was his 9th studio album, and included the singles “Paradise” (featuring Amerie), “Luv U Better”, and the 2003 Jennifer Lopez duet, “All I Have”. The album reached platinum status.
LL Cool J’s 10th album The DEFinition was released on August 31, 2004. The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts.
2006 – 2015
At South by Southwest concert in 2011, LL Cool J was revealed to be Z-Trip’s special guest at the Red Bull showcase. And thus began a creative collaboration between the rap and DJ superstars.
In October 2014, he announced his upcoming 14th studio album will be called G.O.A.T. 2. “The concept behind the album was to give upcoming artists an opportunity to shine, and put myself in the position where I have to spit bars with some of the hardest rhymers in the game,” said LL.
2016 – 2017
LL has kept busy with a ton of different projects, hosting Lip Sync Battle, the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Grammy Awards and playing Beth’s father in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.
On January 21, 2016, LL Cool J received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
LL Cool J currently has an estimated net worth of $100 million. He has 13 recorded studio albums, with eight of them going Platinum and three of them going Gold. LL Cool J gets paid $150,000 an episode for his work on NCIS: Los Angeles, further proving that his grandfather’s $2,000 investment paid off big time to say the least.
Nominated as the only MC among the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, LL Cool J will look to etch his name as a rap megastar in the coming year.
LL Cool J has been nominated for the 2019 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.