Willow Smith
Broccoli City Festival D.C. Pictures - April 25, 2015 (17276469332).jpg
Smith performing in Washington, D.C. in 2015, wearing "the shirt that broke the Internet"[1]
Born
Willow Camille Reign Smith

(2000-10-31) October 31, 2000 (age 21)
EducationSierra Canyon School
Occupation
  • Singer
  • actress
Years active2007–present
WorksFull list
Parents
RelativesJaden Smith (brother)
Musical career
Genres
Labels
Member ofThe Anxiety
Websitewillowsmith.com
Willow Smith Logo.png

Willow Camille Reign Smith (born October 31, 2000), known mononymously as Willow (stylized in all caps), is an American singer-songwriter and actress. The daughter of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, she has received various accolades, including a Young Artist Award, an NAACP Image Award, a BET Award, and nominations for two Daytime Emmy Awards and a MTV Video Music Award.

Smith made her acting debut in 2007 in the film I Am Legend along with her father Will Smith, and later appeared in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl alongside Abigail Breslin. In 2010, Smith launched her music career with the platinum-certified single "Whip My Hair", which peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Smith later signed to her mentor Jay-Z's record label Roc Nation, becoming the youngest artist signed to the label, and released the single "21st Century Girl" the following year.

Smith's debut album, Ardipithecus, was released in 2015. Its single "Wait a Minute!" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Smith would later release her second album The 1st (2017), and her third album Willow (2019). Smith began co-hosting the Facebook Watch talk show Red Table Talk in 2018, which has earned her two NAACP Image Awards and two Daytime Emmy Award nominations. In 2021, Smith released her fourth album Lately I Feel Everything, which spawned the single "Transparent Soul", which was certified gold in the US. Later that year, she earned another top 40 entry on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single "Meet Me at Our Spot" as part of The Anxiety with Tyler Cole.

Early life

Willow Camille Reign Smith was born on October 31, 2000, in Los Angeles, California.[3][4] She is the daughter of the actress-musician Jada Pinkett Smith and actor-musician Will Smith. She has two older siblings: her brother Jaden Smith, an actor and musician, and her half-brother Willard Carroll "Trey" Smith III, an actor and DJ. Smith and her siblings are youth ambassadors for Project Zambi, which, in conjunction with Hasbro,[5][6] provides assistance for Zambian children orphaned by AIDS.

Smith attended Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles.[7]

Career

2007–2013: Acting and music endeavors

Smith performing in 2011

Smith made her acting debut in I Am Legend alongside her father.[8] Her next film, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,[9] was released on July 2, 2008. In 2008, she voiced the character of young Gloria the hippo in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, alongside her mother as Gloria the hippo.

In June 2009, Smith's mother Jada Pinkett Smith announced in an interview on Lopez Tonight that Smith would be releasing an album. Smith then released her first single, "Whip My Hair", which went platinum in the US and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, the single peaked at number two. Its video was nominated for Video of the Year at the BET Awards of 2011.[10] Smith soon after announced her next single, "21st Century Girl". After she performed the song on The Oprah Winfrey Show, she released it the next day on February 3, 2011. The video was released March 9, 2011. On January 20, 2011, Will Smith announced he was planning to produce a contemporary remake of the Broadway musical Annie starring Smith in the title role.[11] However, Smith was deemed too old and the title role was given to Quvenzhané Wallis in February 2013.[12]

On October 6, 2011, "Fireball", a collaboration between Smith and rapper Nicki Minaj, was released. "Fireball" was a commercial failure, failing to chart in any type of music market, except the US R&B chart, charting at 121. It was her first song to miss the Billboard Hot 100. Smith's producer announced that she were almost finished working on her debut album, and that it would be done soon. He also said it has a similar style to "Whip My Hair". The title of the album was later announced to be Knees and Elbows.[13] It was scheduled to be released around April 2012, but was later announced that it would be postponed for release later in the year. On May 1, 2012, she released a music video for "Do it Like Me (Rockstar)",[14] saying that it was her "first video ever".[14] On July 2, 2012, Smith released the "I Am Me" music video at the BET Awards. On July 17, she released her fourth single, "I Am Me" via iTunes and Amazon.

In the summer of 2013, Smith and DJ Fabrega started a duo titled "Melodic Chaotic". "The Intro" was released as the first work, "Summer Fling" was released as the second work of the two on July 6, 2013. The music video was directed by Smith and Mike Vargas who previously directed her single "I Am Me". The song has been widely criticized for its mature tone, the use of the word "fling", and the fake English accent she incorporates.[15][16][17] On September 16, 2013, Smith performed "Summer Fling" on the series premiere of The Queen Latifah Show. During the performance, she said: "Just for clarity, the word fling means something that's short lived...And this song is dedicated to all the kids around the world whose summer is never long enough."[18]

2014–2018: 3 EP, Ardipithecus, and The 1st

On October 24, 2014, Smith and FADER announced that Smith would be releasing her debut EP, titled "3", on October 31, 2014 for free via Google Play for limited time and November 10, 2014, but it was later pushed to November 17, 2014 via iTunes. The same day, she held a concert in New York City at The FADER Fort, where she performed select tracks from her new EP with SZA. She also performed the song "5" with her brother, as well as "Summer Fling" and a new rendition of her famous hit "Whip My Hair".

Smith released the single "F Q-C #7" on May 7, 2015.[19] An accompanying music video was released the same day on Vevo.[20] After release, on September, a video to the track "Why Don't You Cry" on i-D,[21] Willow released her first album Ardipithecus on December 11.[22] About her debut album's title, Willow said "Ardipithecus Ramidus [sic] Sahelanthropus tchadensis is the scientific name of the first hominid bones found on earth. I wanted to name my musical compilation after it because, while I was making these songs, I was in such a transitional state. Digging deep in the soil of my heart and finding bits and pieces of my ancient self that tell stories, which end up being the lyrics to the songs."[23]

On her birthday, October 31, 2017, she released her second album The 1st which is praised for its musical development, particularly Willow's ability to create music following her 1990s R&B predecessors, despite not having been alive during the time.[24] She toured the album with Jhene Aiko alongside St. Beauty, Kodie Shane, and Kitty Cash through the end of 2017.[25]

Along with her mother and grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Smith hosts Red Table Talk, a web talk show for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination.[26][27]

2019–present: Willow, The Anxiety, and Lately I Feel Everything

On June 24, 2019, Smith announced her third studio album, Willow. It was released on July 19, 2019, and was co-produced by herself and Tyler Cole.[28] The duo later released a collaborative album titled The Anxiety in 2020. On April 27, 2021, Smith released "Transparent Soul" featuring Travis Barker, a pop-punk song that was her first foray into that genre.[29][30] Smith released her fourth album Lately I Feel Everything on July 16, featuring guests artists including Tierra Whack and Avril Lavigne.[31] In late 2021, "Meet Me at Our Spot" from The Anxiety reached the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 21.[32] That same year, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[33] Also in 2021, she won Entertainer of the Year for her work on Red Table Talk at the EBONY Power 100 awards,[34] and was placed on Billboard's 'Greatest Pop Stars of 2021' list, being named the 'Comeback Artist of the Year'.[35] Smith was also placed on the 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 list.[36]

In February 2022, Willow announced that she had to pull out of Billie Eilish's Happier Than Ever, the World Tour due to production limitations.[37] On April 8, 2022, Smith featured on Camila Cabello's track "Psychofreak" from Cabello's third studio album Familia. A music video for the song was released on the same day,[38] followed by a live performance on Saturday Night Live.[39]

Personal life

In June 2019, Smith revealed that she is bisexual, stating "I love men and women equally". She also mentioned her support of polyamorous relationships and her desire to be in one.[40]

Discography

Collaborative albums

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2007 I Am Legend Marley Neville[42][43]
2008 Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Countee Garby
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Baby Gloria (voice)
2009 Merry Madagascar Abby (voice) TV movie
2009–2010 True Jackson, VP Young True[44] 2 episodes
2017 Neo Yokio Helenist (voice) Episode: "O, the Helenists"
2018 Adventure Time Beth the Pup Princess (voice) Episode: "Come Along with Me"
2018–present Red Table Talk Herself Co-host; 37 episodes
2021 A Man Named Scott Herself
2022 We Baby Bears Unica (voice) Recurring: 2 episodes

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Results Ref.
2008 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film (Young Actress Age Ten or Younger) I Am Legend Nominated [citation needed]
2009 Best Performance in a Feature Film (Young Ensemble Cast) Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Won
2010 Annie Award Voice Acting in a Television Production Merry Madagascar Nominated
2011 VirtuaMagazine Awards Best New Artist Herself Won
NAACP Image Award Outstanding New Artist Won [45]
Outstanding Music Video "Whip My Hair" Nominated
O Music Awards Most Viral Video Won [citation needed]
BET Awards Video of the Year Nominated
Best New Artist Nominated
YoungStar Award Herself (tied with Jaden Smith) Won
2012 Herself Nominated
MP3 Music Awards The BTM Award "Fireball" (featuring Nicki Minaj) Nominated
2013 "I Am Me" Won
2014 VEVOCertifiedAwards 100,000,000 views "Whip My Hair" Won
2016 The 2016 Fashion Awards New Fashion Icons Herself (tied with Jaden Smith) Won
2020 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host Red Table Talk Nominated [27]
Queerty Awards Closet Door Bustdown Herself Nominated [46]
2021 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host Red Table Talk Nominated [47]
British LGBT Awards Celebrity Herself Nominated [48]
MTV Video Music Awards Best Alternative Video "Transparent Soul" (featuring Travis Barker) Nominated [49]
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Alternative "Transparent Soul" (featuring Travis Barker) Nominated
2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards Best New Alternative Artist Herself Nominated [50]
MTV Video Music Awards Best Alternative Video "Emo Girl" Nominated [51]
"Grow" Nominated

References

  1. ^ Manning, Emily (January 23, 2015). "busted: willow smith and the shirt that broke the internet". Vice. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  2. ^ "Willow Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  3. ^ Leone Shewfelt, Raechal (October 31, 2012). "Happy birthday, Willow Smith! 12 reasons why she's cooler than most of us". Us Weekly.
  4. ^ "Willow Smith Biography" Archived January 25, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Biography. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  5. ^ "Jaden and Willow Smith support Project Zambi". In Touch Weekly. October 7, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  6. ^ "Actors Jaden and Willow Smith Join Hasbro, Inc.'s Project Zambi as Youth Ambassadors". Project Zambi. October 7, 2009. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  7. ^ Wiedeman, Reeves (February 19, 2020). "The Most Famous High School Basketball Team in the World". Intelligencer. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  8. ^ Orloff, Brian; Lazaruk, Lauren (December 2, 2007). "Will Smith: My Daughter Wants to Be Paris Hilton". People. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  9. ^ Smith, Krista (June 2010). "Rising Son: The New Karate Kid". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  10. ^ "Video of the Year". Black Entertainment Television (BET). Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  11. ^ "Will Smith Planning 'Annie' Remake With Jay-Z". Screen Rant. January 20, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  12. ^ Rottenberg, Josh (February 24, 2013). "Beasts of the Southern Wild' breakout Quvenzhané Wallis to star in new big-screen 'Annie'". EW.com.
  13. ^ Moody, Nekesa Mumbi (December 8, 2011). "Willow Smith Talks New Album 'Knees and Elbows'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Cubria, Kaitlin (May 2, 2012). "Willow Smith Debuts Her First Ever Music Video for "Do It Like Me (Rockstar)"". Teen.com. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  15. ^ "Willow Smith's "Summer Fling" Video Is Full of Fake Accents, Dancing & Young Love—Watch Now!". de.eonline.com. July 8, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  16. ^ "Willow Smith and Her Fake Accent Have a Blast in 'Summer Fling' Video". jezebel.com. July 8, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  17. ^ "Willow Smith's New Music Video Proves Whipping Your Hair Is Out, Faking A British Accent Is In". crushable.com. Archived from the original on November 20, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  18. ^ "Willow Smith Performs 'Summer Fling' on 'The Queen Latifah Show'". Rap-Up. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  19. ^ "F Q-C # 7 – Single by Willow". Itunes.apple.com. May 7, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  20. ^ "Willow – F Q-C #7". YouTube.com. WillowSmithVEVO. May 7, 2015. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  21. ^ "world premiere: watch willow smith's new video 'why don't you cry'". i–d.vice.com/. September 17, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  22. ^ "ARDIPITHECUS by Willow". itunes.apple.com/. December 11, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  23. ^ "Willow Smith surprise-releases debut album 'Ardipithecus'". NME.com. December 11, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  24. ^ Cook, Cameron (November 9, 2017). "Willow: The 1st." Pitchfork.com. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  25. ^ "Jhené Aiko Announces 'Trip' Tour with Willow Smith". Rap-Up.com. October 11, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  26. ^ Butler, Bethonie. "The understated genius of Jada Pinkett-Smith's Red Table Talk". Washington Post.
  27. ^ a b Nordyke, Kimberly; Howard, Annie (May 22, 2020). "Daytime Emmy Awards: 'General Hospital' Tops Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  28. ^ Barrie, Fatima (June 25, 2019). "Willow Smith Announces New Album and Mini-Tour". Def Pen.
  29. ^ Shaffer, Claire (April 27, 2021). "Willow Smith Goes Full Pop-Punk on New Track 'Transparent Soul'". Rolling Stone.
  30. ^ Owen, Matt (April 27, 2021). "Willow Smith unleashes her inner pop-punk in guitar-centric new single, Transparent Soul". Guitar World.
  31. ^ Mamo, Heran (June 25, 2021). "Inside Willow's Mission To Change the Face of Punk – And What To Expect From Her Upcoming Album". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  32. ^ "The Hot 100". Billboard. January 2, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  33. ^ "'Red Table Talk' Hosts: TIME100 2021". Time. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  34. ^ "Ebony Announces The Return of 'Ebony Power 100 Awards' For Their 75th Anniversary". HelloBeautiful. October 1, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  35. ^ Jefferson, J'na (December 9, 2021). "Billboard's Greatest Pop Stars of 2021: Comeback Artist of the Year — Willow". Billboard. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  36. ^ "Olivia Rodrigo, Willow Smith, Fletcher And More Join Forbes '30 Under 30' Class Of 2022". www.yahoo.com. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  37. ^ "Willow Exits Billie Eilish Tour Due to 'Production Limitations'". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  38. ^ Camila Cabello – psychofreak (Official Music Video) ft. WILLOW, retrieved April 8, 2022
  39. ^ Watch: WILLOW makes SNL debut with Camila Cabello for psychofreak performance
  40. ^ Henderson, Taylor (June 25, 2019). "Willow Smith Comes Out: 'I Love Men and Women Equally'". Pride.com. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  41. ^ Asmelash, Leah (March 14, 2020). "Willow Smith and Tyler Cole release new album 'The Anxiety' after spending 24 hours in a museum". CNN.
  42. ^ Howell, Peter (December 3, 2007). "Will Smith goes it alone". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  43. ^ Freydkin, Donna (December 11, 2007). "'Legend' premiere has that Smith family vibe". USA Today. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  44. ^ don't forget "testing true"! :). Ashley Argota, YouTube, a.k.a. ashargota (official YouTube channel). 1:42 minutes in. "Willow Smith, who is Will Smith's daughter, is going to be playing Young True."
  45. ^ D'Zurilla, Christie (March 7, 2011). "'21st Century Girl' Willow Smith wins new-artist NAACP Image Award". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  46. ^ "The QUEERTIES 2020 / Closet Door Bustdown Winners". Queerty.com.
  47. ^ "Daytime Emmy Awards Nominations 2021: See the Complete List". E! Online. May 25, 2021. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  48. ^ "Top 10 Celebrities 2021 – British LGBT Awards". Britishlgbtawards.com. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  49. ^ "THE 2021 VMA NOMINATIONS ARE HEE: JUSTIN BIEBER, MEGAN THEE STALLION, AND MORE". www.mtv.com. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  50. ^ "2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards: See The Full List Of Winners". news.iheart.com. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  51. ^ "Your 2022 VMA Nominations Are Here: Jack Harlow, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Nas X Lead The Pack". MTV. Retrieved July 26, 2022.

External links