James Todd “LL Cool J” Smith has been in the entertainment music business since 1984 with a string of hits, awards, movies, TV shows, and more under his belt.
The rapper-turned-actor has stood the test of time and still looks good. He’s bypassed many of the recent health challenges that rappers of his time have recently fallen victim to like heart failure, prostate cancer, or even arthritis.
Many people can recite some of his lyrics and lines, but most don’t know much about the wife of the famed rapper/actor, Simone Smith, or how they got together. This mother of four is an entrepreneur and celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary this year.
Simone takes a look back on her life and how she first met Mr. “Ladies-Love-Cool-James” (L.L. Cool J for the people in the back).
“I was just 19, something like that,” LL told Jimmy Kimmel. “It was Easter and I was driving down the block in my mother’s car.” According to LL, he stopped to say hello to the friend, and the friend said, “Hey, you wanna meet my cousin?” Apparently, he was about to decline when he saw how beautiful she was. He recalled, “I looked over and said ‘Oh yeah, I’ll meet your cousin.'” The rest is history.
LL knew that Simone was the woman of his dreams and proposed in an unsuspecting place until she said yes. “I just sped in my Porsche till she said yes… I’m serious!” How funny is that!
After dating for eight years (yes, eight) LL Cool J and Smith were married in 1995. They have four children together and live in New York.
So what about the whole “Ladies Love Cool James” and LL being a sex symbol for the ladies?
You’ve seen him lick his lips in public. How did that work with Simone and their marriage?
As it turns out, Simone was secure in who she was because she knew who he was a man.
“I wasn’t worried about that because
Todd is Ladies love Cool J and he’s ladies love and the ladies love him and he’s this big sex symbol but he’s definitely a big family man and he loves his wife and he loves his children.”
His secret to a successful marriage is simple: “Just be friends and keep it simple. Sometimes, the wisdom is knowing what to overlook,” explains LL. “And me, sometimes I just like to eat my soup and let her talk, know what I mean, lol.”
This year marks the 15th year that Mrs. Simone Smith has been cancer-free from bone cancer.
“I had a very invasive surgery done because they found a chondrosarcoma tumor in my tibia bone,” explains Smith. “So I had an invasive surgery called microvascular reconstructive surgery, and they had to remove my whole tibia bone and replace it with my fibular bone from my left leg. It took me almost 2 1/2 years to learn how to walk again.”
Unlike breast cancer, chondrosarcoma tends to grow slowly, so it might not cause signs and symptoms at first. When they occur, signs and symptoms of chondrosarcoma may include: Increasing pain. A growing lump or area of swelling. In rare cases, its even worse like Smith experienced.
The Christian Post reports that Smith overcame her cancer with a lot of prayer. Smith continued, “I fought through it, so I was a little depressed for like about…two weeks…but my grandmother called me up and told me, ‘you better not be depressed and get prayed up for those doctors who are doing this surgery on you and you’re gonna beat this.’ So I prayed to God and since then my test results have been great. I praise God every day.”
“I celebrate life. I celebrate every day that I can walk. I celebrate life! We celebrate life!”
Simone, now in her 50’s, is still keeping her health as a priority by eating healthy, staying active and getting yearly check-ups to prevent health issues plaguing many Black women like obesity, stress-related illnesses, and fibroids.
When asked what keeps her inspired, Simone names three things: her faith in God, her husband and her children.
“We are a family who believes in working hard and pursuing our dreams…”
When asked about what makes their particular marriage work, Simone kept it sweet and simple.
“Definitely putting God first,” said Simone in her interview with Oprah. “We both definitely come from a spiritual background and there’s a lot of [compromises]. Picking your battles [and] respecting each other.”
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Cancer center for more articles.