January 14th in African American History – James Todd Smith (L. L. Cool J)

James Todd Smith (L. L. Cool J)January 14, 1968 James Todd Smith (L. L. Cool J), rapper, actor, and author, was born in Bay Shore, New York.

In 1985, Cool J’s debut album, “Radio,” was released to critical acclaim and went platinum with more than 1.5 million in sales. Other albums followed, including “Bigger and Deffer” (1987), “Mr. Smith” (1995), “G.O.A.T.” (2000) and “Exit 13” (2008). Cool J won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1991 for “Mama Said Knock You Out” and in 1996 for “Hey Lover.”

Cool J has also had a successful film and television acting career. From 1995 through 1999, he starred in the television situation comedy “In the House.” In 1998, he had a prominent role in the film “Halloween H20.” Other films include “Any Given Sunday” (1998), “S.W.A.T.” (2003), and “Last Holiday” (2006). Cool J currently stars in the television series “NCIS: Los Angeles.” He has also published four books, including his autobiography “I Make My Own Rules” (1998).

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