From Fresh Prince to King


Willard Christopher Smith Jr., known as Will Smith, was born on September 25, 1968.  He is both a Grammy winning rap artists and an Academy Award nominated actor.  He is one of a very few people who have found success in all avenues of entertainment and media; from music to tv to films.  

Will Smith started his career with a childhood friend, DJ Jazzy Jeff, by starting a rap duo.  Their music was primarily comedic and radio-friendly hip hop.  They are best known for the songs “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime”.  In high school, he
was nicknamed “fresh prince”.  They were the first ever rap artists to win a Grammy in 1988.  In 1990, after his rap career had slowed down, he starred in a sitcom on NBC called “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.  He played the lead in this show which became wildly popular from the early to mid 1990s.

His first notable role in films came when he played an action hero cop along side Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys (1995).  

After ‘Bad Boys’ became a blockbuster hit,  “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” saga came to a close.  However, he began receiving many more roles in films including: Independence Day (1996), Men In Black (1997), Enemy of the State (1998), Wild Wild West (1999), Ali (2001), Men In Black II (2002), Bad Boys II (2003), I Robot (2004), Shark Tale (2004) and Hitch (2005).  He was also considered as one of the top choices to play ‘Neo’ in the popular sci-fi film “The Matrix”.



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