Happy Birthday, Will Smith!
Today, Sept. 25, is the birthday of rapper-turned-actor Will Smith. The Philly star is now 50.
In West Philadelphia, born and raised, Will started rapping in high school after falling in love with the then newer genre. He later teamed with DJ Jazzy Jeff and the human beatbox Ready Rock C and dropped his first album Rock the House in 1987 under the name DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. This was followed by He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper (1988), And in This Corner... (1989) and Homebase (1991). The group won the very first Grammy award given in the rap category in 1988.
In the early 1990s, Will started to transition into acting spawning what would be the most successful career for a MC turned thespian. His beloved sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air started airing in 1990 and was followed by the blockbuster films Bad Boys, Independence Day, Wild Wild West, Men in Black, Ali and Enemy of the State. His latest role was in the 2016 superhero film Suicide Squad.
As a solo artist, Smith saw pop success with the projects Code Red (1993) and Big Willie Style (1997). In the last decade, Will has focused mostly on film with his last album Lost and Found coming out in 2005. Will's next starring role is set to be the famed Genie in a live-action reboot of Disney's Aladdin. But don't think he's left music completely just yet. Last year, Smith and Jazzy Jeff recently came back with a brand new song, an EDM banger titled "Get Lit."
In the summer of 2018, Smith continued making new waves in music when he linked up with Nicky Jam and Kosovar singer Era Istrefi for a new song by the name of "Live It Up." The three would go on to perform the song at the closing ceremony for the 2018 World Cup.
Happy Birthday, Will Smith! Do it up Big Willie style.
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