‘NCIS Los Angeles’: What Is LL Cool J’s Real Name?

by Jeremy Spirogis
LL Cool J

LL Cool J has starred on NCIS: Los Angeles since 2009. What is the entertainer’s actual identify? Here’s what Showbiz Cheat Sheet is aware of.

How LL Cool J bought his stage identify

LL Cool J | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images
LL Cool J | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal through Getty Images through Getty Images

LL Cool J instructed Katie Couric he got here up with the identify Ladies Love Cool James when he was 16 years outdated. He says it was simply wishful pondering on the time. He all the time wished to achieve success with girls, in order that’s how he got here up with the identify.

“I had a friend, his name is Playboy Mikey D, he’s a rap artist,” LL Cool J tells Couric. “We were in a group together. I was walking down the street one day, and I said, ‘I want a cool name.’” LL Cool J mentioned the identify simply caught with him.

The actor says when he first instructed the executives at his document label what he wished his rap identify to be, they have been hesitant as a result of the identify was too lengthy. “It was kind of wishful thinking,” LL Cool J mentioned throughout an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.

“When I was younger, I wanted my name to be Ladies Love Cool James,” he continued. “When I was talking to Rick Rubin and I told him my name would be Ladies Love Cool James, he said, ‘It’s a little long for the label.’ And then he said, ‘Why don’t we just make it LL?’”

What’s LL Cool J’s actual identify?

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LL Cool J’s actual identify is James Todd Smith. During an interview for Oprah’s Master Class, LL Cool J explains why he turned a solo artist. He says he initially deliberate to rap with a gaggle, however the option to go solo was made for him.

The NCIS:LA star says the group he carried out with didn’t consider he obtained a possibility to make a document with producer Rick Rubin, former co-president of Columbia Records and co-founder of Def Jam Recordings. LL Cool J determined to proceed his profession with out them.

“They used to think I exaggerated,” says LL Cool J. “One of the main reasons I ended up a solo rap artist is because the guys that were in my rap group didn’t believe me when I told them, ‘We got this opportunity with Rick Rubin. We could go down there and make a record.’ They didn’t believe me. So, I made it by myself.”

What LL Cool J’s co-stars name him on the set of ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’

During an interview with Glamour journal, the actor/rapper revealed his co-stars confer with him by his center identify, Todd. He instructed the publication he likes when his co-stars name him Todd as a result of it feels extra private and pure. He says he doesn’t need his interactions to be all about his identification as a rapper:

I let everyone name me Todd as a result of I feel that (1) It’s extra private and I can join with individuals, and (2) I don’t need it to be about my profession, my model, my persona. I’m right here working, and I identical to Todd Smith on the decision sheet. It simply retains it easy. I don’t really feel like they’ll take me extra severe or something like that as a result of I’m nonetheless LL Cool J on billing, however I feel it’s extra private.

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