LL Cool J was one of the first hip-hop artists to reach mainstream popularity along with other big-name rappers such as Run- D.M.C. his breakthrough success with his first single "I Need a Beat" gave him a foundation to move on to doing things such as performing to large venues and also being the opening act for Run-D.M.C and the Beastie Boys for their Raising Hell Tour in the late 1980s. Throughout his very successful career, he was nominated for 9 Grammy Awards, and 4 MTV Music Video Awards. In the late 1980s, he made a few small cameos in films, but later went on to costar along with big-name movie stars such as Robin Williams in the 1992 film "Toys". This was just the start of his acting career, and later went on to star in his own TV sitcom an other movies in the 1990s and 2000s. For 3 years in a row he hosted the Grammy Awards and also hosted the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards in 2014.