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LL Cool J

LL Cool J is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is one of the earliest rappers to achieve commercial success, alongside fellow new school hip hop acts Beastie Boys and Run-DMC. Signed to Def Jam Recordings in 1984, LL Cool J's breakthrough came with his single "I Need a Beat" and his landmark debut album, Radio (1985). He achieved further commercial and critical success with the albums Bigger and Deffer (1987), Walking with a Panther (1989), Mama Said Knock You Out (1990), Mr. Smith (1995), and Phenomenon (1997). His twelfth album, Exit 13 (2008), was his last in his long-tenured deal with Def Jam. LL Cool J has appeared in numerous films, including Halloween H20, In Too Deep, Any Given Sunday, Deep Blue Sea, S.W.A.T., Mindhunters, Last Holiday, and Edison. He played NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna in the CBS crime drama television series NCIS: Los Angeles. LL Cool J was also the host of Lip Sync Battle on Paramount Network. A two-time Grammy Award winner, LL Cool J is known for hip hop songs such as "Going Back to Cali", "I'm Bad", "The Boomin' System", "Rock the Bells", and "Mama Said Knock You Out", as well as R&B hits such as "Doin' It", "I Need Love", "Around the Way Girl" and "Hey Lover". In 2010, VH1 placed him on their "100 Greatest Artists Of All Time" list. In 2017, LL Cool J became the first rapper to receive the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2021, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an award for Musical Excellence.
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