Will Smith Biography
Will Smith, an American actor, producer, rapper, comedian and songwriter was born Willard Christopher Smith Jr. on September 25, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.He is the son to Caroline Bright, a Philadelphia school board administrato, and Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., a refrigeration engineer.
In 1988, ‘DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’ were recipients of the ‘Grammy Award’ for their initial rap songs.
During the late 1990s, Smith was felicitated with the ‘Blockbuster Entertainment Award’ in the ‘Favorite Actor’ category, for ‘Independence Day’, ‘Men in Black’ and ‘Enemy of the State’
From 2005-2008, he won the ‘Teen Choice Awards’ for hits like ‘Hitch’, ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, and ‘I Am Legend’. In 2008-2009, the peerless actor was presented the ‘BET Award’ for his roles in ‘Hancock’ and ‘Seven Pounds’. During this time he also won the ‘Saturn Award’ for his performance in ‘I Am Legend’.
Will Smith Music
1985–1992: The Fresh Prince
Smith started as the MC of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, with his childhood friend Jeffrey “DJ Jazzy Jeff” Townes as turntablist and producer. Townes and Smith were introduced to each other by chance in 1985, as Townes was performing at a house party only a few doors down from Smith’s residence, and he was missing his hype man. Smith decided to fill in. They both felt strong chemistry, and Townes was upset when his hype man finally made it to the party.
Soon after, the two decided to join forces. Smith enlisted a friend to join as the beatboxer of the group, Clarence Holmes (Ready Rock C), making them a trio. Philadelphia-based Word Up Records released their first single in late 1985 to 1986 when A&R man Paul Oakenfold introduced them to Word Up with their single “Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble,” a tale of funny misadventures that landed Smith and his former DJ and rap partner Mark Forrest (Lord Supreme) in trouble. The song sampled the theme song of “I Dream of Jeannie.” Smith became known for light-hearted story-telling raps and capable, though profanity-free, “battle” rhymes. The single became a hit a month before Smith graduated from high school.
Based on this success, the duo were brought to the attention of Jive Records and Russell Simmons. The duo’s first album, Rock the House, which was first released on Word Up in 1986 debuted on Jive in March of 1987. The group received the first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1989 for “Parents Just Don’t Understand” (1988), though their most successful single was “Summertime” (1991), which earned the group their second Grammy and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Smith and Townes are still friends and claim that they never split up, having made songs under Smith’s solo performer credit.
Smith spent money freely around 1988 and 1989 and underpaid his income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service eventually assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against Smith, took many of his possessions, and garnished his income. Smith was nearly bankrupt in 1990, when the NBC television network signed him to a contract and built a sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, around him. The show was successful and began his acting career. Smith set for himself the goal of becoming “the biggest movie star in the world”, studying box office successes’ common characteristics.
1993–2006: Solo Music And Film Beginnings
Smith’s first major roles were in the drama Six Degrees of Separation (1993) and the action film Bad Boys (1995) in which he starred opposite Martin Lawrence. The latter film was commercially successful, grossing $141,407,024 worldwide — $65,807,024 in North America and $75,600,000 overseas.
However, critical reception was generally mixed. In 1996, Smith starred as part of an ensemble cast in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day. The film was a massive blockbuster, becoming the second highest-grossing film in history at the time and establishing Smith as a prime box office draw.
In the summer of 1997 he starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones in the summer hit Men in Black playing Agent J. The film was released on July 2, 1997, by Columbia Pictures, and grossed over $589.3 million worldwide against a $90 million budget, becoming the year’s third highest-grossing film, with an estimated 54,616,700 tickets sold in the US. It received worldwide acclaim, with critics highly praising its witty, sophisticated humor, as well as Jones and Smith’s performances.
During the summer of 1997, Smith also began his solo career with the release of “Men in Black”, the theme song for the film of the same name, which topped singles charts in several regions across the world, including the UK. “Men in Black” (and second single “Just Cruisin'”) was later included on Smith’s debut solo album Big Willie Style, which reached the top ten of the US Billboard 200 and was certified nine times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The third single from the album, “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It”, became Smith’s first Billboard Hot 100 number one when it was released in 1998.
In 1998, Smith starred with Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State. The following year he turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix in favor of Wild Wild West (1999). Despite the disappointment of Wild Wild West, Smith has said that he harbors no regrets about his decision, asserting that Keanu Reeves’s performance as Neo was superior to what Smith himself would have achieved, although in interviews subsequent to the release of Wild Wild West he stated that he “made a mistake on Wild Wild West. That could have been better.”
Smith’s second album was again supported by the release of a film theme song as the lead single: “Wild Wild West”, featuring Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee, topped the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold by the RIAA. The album in question, Willennium, reached number five on the Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum by the RIAA. “Will 2K”, the second single from the album, reached number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Before the end of 1999, a video album was released featuring Smith’s seven music videos released to date, which reached number 25 on the UK Music Video Chart. The same year, the rapper was also featured on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Tatyana Ali’s single “Boy You Knock Me Out”, which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and topped the UK R&B Singles Chart.
Smith portrayed heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali in the 2001 biopic Ali. For his performance he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. In 2002, following a four-year musical hiatus, Smith returned with his third album Born to Reign, which reached number 13 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold by the RIAA.
The album’s lead single was Men in Black II theme song “Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head)”, which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart. Later in the year, Smith’s first compilation album Greatest Hits was released, featuring songs from his three solo albums as well as those produced with DJ Jazzy Jeff.
2003 saw Smith return for Bad Boys II, the sequel to the 1995 film Bad Boys and the second installment in the Bad Boys series, the film follows detectives Burnett and Lowrey investigating the flow of ecstasy into Miami. Despite receiving generally negative reviews, the film was a box office success, grossing $270 million worldwide.
Smith’s latest album Lost and Found was released in 2005, peaking at number six on the Billboard 200. Lead single “Switch” reached the top ten of both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. In 2005, Smith was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for attending three premieres in a 24-hour time span.
Will Smith Wife
The celebrated actor has been married twice. His first marriage to Sheree Zampino in 1992 lasted only three years but produced a son, Willard Smith III, also known as Trey. He has been married to actress Jada Pinkett Smith since 1997. The couple’s son, Jaden, was born in 1998, and their daughter, Willow, was born in 2000.
Will Smith Children
Smith married Sheree Zampino in 1992. They had one son, Trey Smith, born on November 11, 1992, and divorced in 1995. Trey appeared in his father’s music video for the 1998 single “Just the Two of Us”. He also acted in two episodes of the sitcom All of Us, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and on the David Blaine: Real or Magic TV special.
Smith married actress Jada Koren Pinkett in 1997. Together they have two children: Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born 1998), his co-star in The Pursuit of Happyness and After Earth, and Willow Camille Reign Smith (born 2000), who appeared as his daughter in I Am Legend. Smith and his brother Harry own Treyball Development Inc. a Beverly Hills-based company named after Trey. Smith and his family reside in Los Angeles, California.
Will Smith Movie Career
Smith was nearly bankrupt in 1990, when the NBC television network signed him to a contract and built a sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
The show was successful and this began his acting career. Will Smith set for himself the goal of becoming “the biggest movie star in the world”, studying box office successes’ common characteristics.
While still making The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Smith began a second crossover into movies. Small roles in the drama Where The Day Takes You in 1992 and the comedy Made In America (1993) were followed by a critically acclaimed lead in Six Degrees of Separation in 1993.
In the summer of 1997 he starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones in the summer hit Men in Black playing Agent J.Later the actor performedas as boxer Muhammad Ali in Ali in the year 2001 and stockbroker Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness in 2006.
In 2007, Smith starred in I Am Legend, a remake of the Charlton Heston film Omega Man, in which he battled bloodthirsty vampires. The film became a national and international hit.
Men in Black III opened on May 25, 2012 with Smith again reprising his role as Agent J. This was his first major starring role in four years.Smith and his son Jaden played father and son in the science fiction film After Earth, which was released on May 31, 2013.
In the year 2016 Smith starred in the DC Comics blockbuster hit Suicide Squad, which became his most successful film since 1996’s Independence Day as it received positive critics.
Will Smith Awards
Grammy Award, for Best Rap Performance, “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” 1989; Grammy Award, for Best Rap Performance, for “Summertime,”1992; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Image Award for Best Situation Comedy, for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, 1992; Grammy Award, for Best Rap Performance, for “Men In Black,” 1998;
Grammy Award, for Best Rap Performance, for “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” 1998; ASCAP Awards, 1998, 2000; Blockbuster Entertainment Awards favorite actor (sci-fi), 1996 and 1998, and favorite actor (action/adventure), 1999; Image Award, for Entertainer of the Year, Outstanding Music Video, and Outstanding Rap Artist, 1999; BET Award, for Best Actor, for Ali, 2002.
Will Smith Films
- Where the Day Takes You (1992)
- Made in America (1993)
- Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
- Bad Boys (1995)
- Independence Day (1996)
- Men in Black (1997)
- Enemy of the State (1998)
- Wild Wild West (1999)
- The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
- Ali (2001)
- Men in Black II (2002)
- Bad Boys II (2003)
- I, Robot (2004)
- Shark Tale (2004)
- Hitch (2005)
- The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
- I Am Legend (2007)
- Hancock (2008)
- Seven Pounds (2008)
- Men in Black 3 (2012)
- After Earth (2013)
- Winter’s Tale (2014)
- Focus (2015)
- Concussion (2015)
- Suicide Squad (2016)
- Collateral Beauty (2016)
- Bright (2017)
- Aladdin (2019)
Will Smith Songs
With DJ Jazzy Jeff
- Rock the House (1987)
- He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper (1988)
- And in This Corner… (1989)
- Homebase (1991)
- Code Red (1993)
- Big Willie Style (1997)
- Willennium (1999)
- Born to Reign (2002)
- Lost and Found (2005)
Will Smith Upcoming Movie
Smith will voice Lance Sterling, a spy, in Spies in Disguise, which sees Lance having to team up with the nerdy inventor who creates Lance’s gadgets, voiced by Tom Holland. The film is scheduled to be released on January 18, 2019. Next, Smith will portray The Genie (originally played by Robin Williams in the 1992 animated film) in a live-action film adaptation of Disney’s Aladdin directed by Guy Ritchie which is scheduled to be released on May 24, 2019. Lastly, Smith will appear as an assassin who faces off against himself, a clone who is younger and in his prime in Ang Lee’s Gemini Man, scheduled for release on October 4, 2019.
Will Smith PhotosWill Smith