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The Hollywood Insider Will Smith

Photo/Video: Will Smith/Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock

Will Smith is an absolute powerhouse with a variety of skills honed and under his belt. He is an award-winning actor and rapper who also has produced a vast amount of films and television shows over the years that have transformed him into the legend he is known as today. Will Smith has become a household name over the years as he has dominated the film industry with a variety of awards and mentions under his belt. 

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Will was born September 25, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to his parents, Caroline and Willard C. Smith. He excelled as a student but, knowing he wanted to be a rapper, opted out of attending higher education. It wasn’t long after he met Jeff Townes (DJ Jazzy Jeff) that they would become a famous rapping duo who would release a plethora of popular songs at the time. He would be known for straying away from rapping styles at the time and taking a more clean-cut approach. 

Will’s rap name, The Fresh Prince, fun fact, would carry along with him into his acting career as he began his first role as an actor in ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.’ Will continued creating music alongside Jeff Townes but ended up going solo in the ’90s as his acting career began to take off with movies like ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Independence Day.’ It wouldn’t be long before Will would start to take over the film industry and show the world everything he could and would become.

Early Work

Will Smith released a variety of award-winning singles and albums as The Fresh Prince with DJ Jazzy Jeff, including: ‘He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper,’ which featured a song, ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand,’ that would receive the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance. This would not be the first of his many ‘firsts’ as a musician and actor. His work on the ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ jump-started his future career as an award-winning actor, and Jeff Townes was still seen on his side throughout the show as well; he even released a song with Jeff in 2017. 

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As mentioned above while filming ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and after the conclusion of the show, he could be seen leaping into the film industry as he had roles in popular movies like ‘Bad Boys,’ ‘Independence Day,’ ‘Men in Black,’ ‘Enemy of the State,’ and more. Meanwhile, he also jump-started his solo career as a musician that would also lead him into more future success.

Will Smith’s Life as a Musician

With success as an award-winning rapper already under his belt alongside Jeff Townes, Will began his solo career as a musician. In his earlier years of being a solo artist, he would release popular singles and albums such as ‘Men in Black,’ ‘Big Willie Style,’ ‘Willennium,’ and much more. Many of his popular songs won a variety of awards, and he would soon officially prove himself as a skilled musician and actor. 

He won Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance again for songs such as ‘Men in Black,’ ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It’ and American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist and Favorite Soundtrack for ‘Wild Wild West.’ He has continued to create music over the years through collaborations, soundtracks for movies, and more. Often, you can hear music created by him through watching the movies and television shows he is featured in. 

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Producer and Award-Winning Actor

Will Smith is known for the variety of roles that he is played over the years and for his work as a producer on a variety of movies and television shows. Some famed movies that he has won awards for his role in include: ‘I Am Legend,’ ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,’ ‘After Earth,’ and more. 

Other notable movies and television roles include ‘Aladdin,’ ‘After Earth,’ ‘Suicide Squad,’ and more. He has had a hand in the production of movies and television shows like ‘The Karate Kid,’ ‘All of Us,’ and ‘The Sprinter.’ Overall, it is without a doubt that Will Smith has already had an incredibly full career and will continue to thrive as an actor, producer, comedian, and musician for years to come. 

What’s Next 

Will Smith has become a household name and will continue to hold his spot as one of the bests as he continues to be featured in popular movies. Will is just one of those celebrities that people have grown attached to, like me, for the nostalgia he brings about because of his roles in ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and ‘Men in Black’ and the memorable roles he continues to present. 

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Will Smith will next be seen in ‘King Richard’ with Erin Cummings, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, where he will play Richard Williams, Venus and Serena Williams father. He will also be seen in ‘Emancipation’ directed by Antoine Fuqua; he will star in the movie as a runaway slave who is on a harrowing journey to freedom. 

He is currently working as a producer on films such as ‘Hancock 2,’ ‘Fast and Loose,’ ‘Uptown Saturday Night,’ and more. I am excited to see what else Will Smith has his hand in the future and the work he is currently working on now. I am still going to always find my way back to reruns of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and all of the ‘Men in Black’ movies. 

Will Smith is exceptionally inspiring for a variety of reasons, and I am grateful to have witnessed all of the work he has created thus far. I can only hope to one day take a page from Will Smith’s book; literally, he’s releasing an autobiography and to have the confidence and determination to succeed at whatever I set my mind to like he has. Here’s to The Fresh Prince and all of the masterpieces he has been a part of and created over the years.

By Chelsea Black

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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