LL Cool J
Grammy Award ® winning Queens native LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) came from humble beginnings and was the first artist signed to the infamous record label Def Jam and is one of the most successful hip-hip artists of all time. LL also known as Ladies Love Cool James, released the first hip-hop love song “I Need Love” in 1985. Rarely seen without his trademark cap, LL made a seamless transition from hip-hop artist to actor and can be seen weekly on CBS’ NCIS Los Angeles and has appeared in blockbuster movies including Any Given Sunday, S.W.A.T., Charlie’s Angels, and Last Holiday. In 2013, weeks before the release of a new album, the veteran rapper was at the center of controversy for his lyrics on "Accidental Racist," a collaboration with country singer Brad Paisley.