Whether it is making a name in the music industry, stirring a storm on television or having a legendary Hollywood career, Will Smith has done it all. Willard Carroll Smith Jr. was born on September 25, 1968 in Philadelphia to a middle class family. He was a good student throughout school, but it was his charm that won him a lot of friends and helped him sculpt a well-rounded personality.
Long before his rapping career took off, he had already developed a nickname among his friends - Prince. The name followed him well into his teens, when he began rapping along with his childhood friend, Jeff Townes. They used to call themselves DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. The group used to perform humorous songs that worked well on the radio and resonated with the audiences as well. Their rise to popularity and constant praise from the critics earned them the Grammy Award for Rap in the year 1988. Around this time, he also got married to Sheree Fletcher. But, the marriage lasted only three years and they have a son together named Trey.
His misadventures at the time almost got him bankrupt. But, the timely offer from NBC for the sitcom, The Fresh Price of Bell Air, got him back up on his feet. The show was wildly successful and got Will Smith his acting debut. He also met Jada Pinkett during the filming, when she came to audition for the role of his girlfriend. Ironically, she did not get the part in the show. The duo tied the knot in 1997 and have two children, Jaden and Willow. It would be safe to say that Will Smith is one of the most successful, if not the most successful, crossover stars in the history of Rap. It is no fluke and Smith had actually set a goal to become a top star in Hollywood and he did his due research to make it big in the industry.
He started with movies like Six Degrees of Separation (1993) and Bad Boys (1995). It is noteworthy that his 1995 release also was the debut project of the now famous director, Michael Bay. 1997 brought Will Smith Independence Day. He was not the lead in the movie, but was part of a large cast. However, the movie went to become such a big hit that it propelled Will’s career to new heights. He then went on to do movies like Men in Black (1997), which cemented his position as a Hollywood star. Will Smith has been the lead in big ticket movies like Enemy of the State (1998), Men in Black II (2002), Hitch (2005), The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Hancock (2008), and many others. More than 80 percent of the movies in which he has played the lead role, have earned over $100 million at the box office, making him one of the most bankable stars in the industry. The actor has also starred with Jaden Smith in two of his movies.
In 2007, the star was tagged by Newsweek as the most powerful actor in Hollywood. He is not only a good musician and a great actor, but can also solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute, something that he has done in movies and on live television. He also has a private school in California called New Village Leadership Academy, which he runs with his wife.