Will Smith was born in Philadelphia
, Pennsylvania on September
25th, 1968. Smith spent most of his young life in Philly, with a diverse group of friends. In his own words he "grew up in a Baptist household, went to a Catholic school
, lived in a predominately Jewish neighborhood, and hung out with Muslim kids." While Will Smith was always the class clown, he also turned out to be quite intelligent. He excelled in writing, as well as math and the sciences.
Will's parents were both very musical and passed that onto their son. He played piano
, both at home and at school. But Smith's interests lay in the underground scene of rap. When he was eighteen, he and Jeff Townes
teamed up and became "The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff". Before he was twenty years old, he had signed a record deal.
In 1988, at the Grammys, Will and Jeff won the first ever Grammy award
for Rap. Two years later, they picked up another Grammy. And from there, Smith was a millionaire
. But he ended up losing it all due to a scandal with taxes. Instead of giving up, Smith looked towards another dream of his. Acting. Luck got him a meeting with Benny Medina, a Warner Brothers
executive who was playing with a sitcom about a teen, taken off the streets by rich relatives. It was Medina's childhood story
and Smith seemed the perfect part for it.
Thus, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
was created. And with the success of Fresh Prince, it wasn't long before Smith wanted to move into the big screen. And he did. He hit a couple small parts with Where the Day Takes You
and Made in America
, before he got the lead role in Six Degrees of Separation
. That movie gave Smith the critical acclaim he desired and made him seem the serious actor that he could be.
, Will Smith decided that he was done with "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". So, while the show was still huge, Smith left it without a seventh season. After his success with Independence Day
, Smith got a call from Steven Spielberg
telling him that he would be starring in his next movie. Smith couldn't say no. Will Smith became Agent Jay of the hit Men in Black
But more then that, Men in Black gave Smith a chance to get back into what had started his career. Rap. Having seen how it had degenerated with people like Eminem
. This was Will's real chance as a musician. He had the money. He had the fame. Now, it was time to prove that it wasn't just luck that got him where he was. And he most certainly did. Big Willie Style
was a huge success. Since then, he's released almost a dozen more albums and is still musically strong.
Now, Will Smith is still a big name in Hollywood. Starring in movies like I, Robot
, it is obvious that he can hold the camera's interest. Smith has shown a tendency to break barriers as both a musician and an actor. And although nothing's certain, he definitely has a long way to go before he's done.
- Rock the House (1987) (The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff)
- He's the DJ; I'm the Rapper (1988) (The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff)
- And In This Corner... (1989) (The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff)
- Homebase (1991) (The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff)
- Code: Red (1993) (The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff)
- Big Willie Style (1997)
- Just the Two of Us (1998)
- Greatest Hits (1998) (The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff)
- Willennium (1999)
- Before the Willennium (2000) (The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff)
- Freakin' It (2000)
- Maximum Will Smith (2000)
- Born to Reign (2002)
- Will Smith's Greatest Hits (2002)
- Platinum and Gold Collection (2003) (The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff)
- Lost and Found (2005)
"Scene: Will Smith" by Dave Stern. Aladdin Paperbacks.
Dedicated to wertperch who happens to be getting married today!