Has LL Cool J Ever Won a Grammy?

LL Cool J is known for his music just as much as his acting talent. Has the NCIS: Los Angeles star ever won a Grammy? Here’s what Showbiz Cheat Sheet knows.

LL Cool J’s music career

LL Cool J at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
LL Cool J at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

LL Cool J began rapping at 9 years old. By the time he was 11, his grandfather helped nurture his musical interest by purchasing $2,000 worth of music equipment (two turntables, a mixer, and an amplifer) for him, reports The New York Times. At 16 years old, LL Cool J started making demo tapes and sending them to record companies.

He was later signed by Def Jam and released his first studio album, Radio, in November 1985. Two years later, he released Bigger and Deffer. Some of LL Cool J’s other albums include Walking with a Panther, Mama Said Knock You Out, 14 Shots to the Dome, and Mr. Smith.

LL Cool J’s movies and TV shows

LL Cool J made his first movie appearance in the 1985 film Krush Groove, in which he sang the song, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio.” In 1986 he appeared in the movie Wildcats. By 1991, he played Billy in the film The Hard Way, starring actors Michael J. Fox and James Woods.

In 1995, LL Cool J landed his own TV show, titled In the House. He played the character Marion Hill until the series ended in 1999. His other acting roles include appearances in Any Given Sunday, In Too Deep, House, and 30 Rock. LL Cool J began playing the role of Sam Hanna on NCIS: Los Angeles in 2009.

LL Cool J Grammy Awards

As of this writing, LL Cool J has two Grammy Awards. In 1992, he won a Grammy in the Rap Solo Performance category for his song “Mama Said Knock You Out.” Then in 1997, LL Cool J won a Grammy in the Rap Solo Performance category for “Hey Lover,” which featured R&B group Boyz II Men.

LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’

During an interview with Dubspot, DJ Marley Marl says “Mama Said Knock You Out” was a collection of samples from other artists. He used samples from “Trip to Your Heart” and “Sing a Simple Song” by Sly and the Family Stone, and “Funky Drummer” by James Brown. Marl said “Mama Said Knock You Out” wasn’t his favorite song on LL Cool J’s album. However, when the single was released, the public loved the song.

“This wasn’t my most favorite song on the album at that point,” says Marl. “When it got to the public, the public decided what it was going to be. A lot of times, when you’re in the studio, what you might love the most is not what the public loves the most. And I would have never thought that we were going to win a Grammy for that song.”

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