Paying Tribute To Will Smith's Eras In Honor Of His 55th Birthday

From ‘The Fresh Prince’ To Slapgate: Paying Tribute To Will Smith’s Eras In Honor Of His 55th Birthday


From 'The Fresh Prince' To Slapgate: Paying Tribute To Will Smith's Eras In Honor Of His 55th Birthday

Today marks Will Smith‘s 55th birthday, and this star has had quite the time in the spotlight!

From the Philadelphia native’s early rap days and sitcom era to providing pivotal acting roles and letting Chris Rock know wassup, we’ve seen plenty of different iterations of the same ol’ Will Smith that we all know and love.

To commemorate his 55th birthday, here are the Will Smith eras that we’ve seen during his time in the spotlight!

Hittin’ The Scene With His Rap Artistry

Starting from the top, we, of course, have his musical artistry. Hitting the scene as one-half of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Will Smith helped churn out beloved hits like “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” “Ring My Bell,” and “Summertime.”

Smith eventually made his solo debut in 1997 and provided a fun bop with “Miami.” Later, he followed up with a few other solo albums, with the last one — Lost and Found — dropping in 2005.

Don’t get it twisted, though, because Will Smith’s musical contributions continue into recent years, as he was featured on Logic’s “Don’t Be Afraid To Be Different” in 2019.

Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Years

Naturally, we have Will’s time on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which aired from September 1990 to May 1996. According to MovieWeb, the series produced close to 150 episodes.

Alongside fellow stars like James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parson, and others, Will served up comedic, wholesome realness with this gig.

On top of his acting contributions to the series, Will also came thru and served up The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘s memorable theme song.

Growing Into His “Greatest Period” Of Fatherhood

Of course, we’d be remiss to leave out Will Smith embracing his fatherhood era. He welcomed his firstborn, Willard “Trey” Smith III, with Sheree Zampino in 1992. Upon tying the knot with Jada Pinkett Smith in 1997, the couple welcomed Jaden and Willow Smith in 1998 and 2000, respectively.

Throughout the years, Will and Jada have spoken about parenthood on numerous occasions, though the father of three acknowledging how his approach has changed over time is perhaps one of his most admirable reflections on the subject.

During a December 2022 appearance on the All the Smoke podcast, Will declared, “This has been probably the greatest period of my fatherhood.”

Further elaborating, the father of three acknowledged how he improved with each child, adding, “I was an okay father for my first son. I got a little bit better with Jaden. I got my sea legs with Willow.”

After remarking that he has “sufficiently suffered enough to have real wisdom,” Will noted, “This last year with my kids has been the best parenting.”


Blockbustin' Bad Boy

Segueing to his filmography through the mid-1990s to late-2000s, it’s imperative to acknowledge just how much of an impact Will Smith had on people who grew up during this time.

1995 saw the release of Bad Boys, an action comedy that spawned sequels in 2003 and 2020. Independence Day and Men in Black followed in 1996 and 1997, respectively, before he starred as Muhammed Ali in Ali (2003).

In 2004, he made major contributions to two very different hits: I, Robot and Shark Tale.

Other noteworthy projects from this period include Hitch (2005), I Am Legend (2007), and Hancock (2008).

Notably, Jaden starred alongside Will in The Pursuit of Happyness in 2006, making the film a family affair!


From A Fresh Price To A Fitness KING!

In May 2021, Will Smith bared all on Instagram and let fans in on his health by noting, “I’m in the worst shape of my life.”

He subsequently embarked on an all-out fitness journey, with Smith sharing a video in Nov. 2021 centered on him trying to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks. This turned into a full-on YouTube series called ‘Will Smith: The Best Shape Of My Life,’ allowing die-hard fans to join the actor on his journey.

Will was sure to keep it goin’ even after the series wrapped, as evidenced by a recent Instagram post showing him “feelin’ real confident right before running a 5K in Dubai.” IKTR!


Center of Slapgate Controversy

At the 94th Academy Awards ceremony (aka Oscars) on Mar. 27, 2022, Hollywood was firmly polarized after Will Smith outright slapped Chris Rock, who was hosting the event.

The move came after Chris made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia, and it was followed by a hardy, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth!”

Once footage circulated, everyone and their momma chimed in, with some stars like Zoë Kravitz getting hit with major backlash for their opinions.

Despite Will being banned from the Oscars for ten years over the slap heard around the world, he didn’t come out of the situation without garnering support for sticking up for his wife against Chris Rock — who was noted as making other cracks about Jada Pinkett Smith over the years, per Harper’s Bazaar.

A few months after the incident, Will Smith released a video on YouTube and noted that his “behavior was unacceptable.”

Whether people feel the decision was justified or not, one thing is certain: it sure as heck got people buzzin’, and it’s a significant chapter in Will Smith’s public presence.

Happy birthday, Will Smith!


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