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 – Summertime pic.twitter.com/o23f6yKmHr
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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.
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air theme song w/ will smith and @djjazzyjeff215
— YurSound (@YurSound) April 29, 2023
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.”