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Hip-hop artist and actor LL Cool J made it big with Def Jam Records in the late 1980s and '90s with albums like Mama Said Knock You Out.
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Also around this time, LL Cool J wrote his autobiography, I Make My Own Rules, which was published in 1997.
Juggling his music and acting projects, LL Cool J released G.O.A.T. in 2000, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. He then starred in the 2001 family drama, Kingdom Come, with Jada Pinkett Smith and Vivica A. Fox. Proving he was truly multi-talented, LL also authored a children's book, And the Winner Is,
which was published in 2002. Still, he never abandoned his music. In 2003, he released 10, which featured a duet with Jennifer Lopez. He then released The DEFinition the following year.
LL continued to thrive as an actor, starring opposite Gabrielle Union in the 2003 romantic comedy Deliver Us From Eva. Taking on grittier fare, he also appeared in Michael Mann's big-budget action flick S.W.A.T (2003), with Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell. He then took on the lead role in the 2005 crime drama Mindhunters, in which he played a FBI profiler-in-training.
Known for his remarkable physique, the actor, writer and musician co-authored the 2006 fitness book LL Cool J's Platinum Workout: Sculpt Your Best Body Ever with Hollywood's Fittest Star. That same year, he starred in the romantic comedy Last Holiday opposite Queen Latifah, which made more than $38 million at the box office. LL also had a starring role in the 2007 independent crime thriller Last Holiday with Ray Liotta.
In 2008, LL Cool J returned to music with Exit 13. "I'm not trying to be new school and I'm not old school??I'm classic," he said, in describing his latest release to Jet magazine. Tackling the small screen, LL landed a leading role in the criminal drama NCIS: Los Angeles opposite Chris O'Donnell, a spin-off from the hit series NCIS starring Mark Harmon. O'Donnell and LL Cool J play Navy investigators out to solve military-related crimes. The show was heralded as the most popular new drama of the fall television season.
Outside of music and acting, LL Cool J has explored many business opportunities. He launched a clothing line, FUBU (For Us, By Us) in 1996. In 2008, he signed a deal with Sears to design and sell a reasonably priced clothing line for families.
LL Cool J has been married to wife Simone since 1995. They have four children together.
The entertainer made headlines in August 2012, when he broke the nose and jaw of a suspected burglar at his home in Studio City, Los Angeles. According to media reports, LL Cool J had been home, upstairs, when he heard sounds coming from the first-level of his home. Upon investigating the noise, the suspect reportedly became aggressive with LL, and a physical fight ensued between the two men. According to reports, LL managed to overtake the suspect—who was later hospitalized for his injuries—and hold him down until police arrived.
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