Will Smith is a well-known rapper and celebrity. Starting from his roots as the Fresh Prince he climbed up the path to stardom by starring in a diverse set of roles. Now with multiple awards and millions upon millions in earnings, Smith continues to make films while giving back to the community through his philanthropy.
Read on and find out the story on how he sits on the throne as one of the A-list celebrities of Hollywood.
Will Smith Net Worth in 2018 – $260 million
How Did Will Smith make his money & wealth
Willard Caroll Smith Jr. was born and raised in West Philadelphia on September 25, 1968. He grew up to a middle class family and did well in school. His neighborhood comprised of different faiths with a majority of Orthodox Jews followed by Muslims. Smith’s family were Baptists and he attended a Catholic school.
At a young age he helped his father install supermarket refrigerators. Smith graduated from Overbrook High School and even managed to pass the SAT with flying colors. However he made it clear that he did not want to attend college and instead he’d rather pursue a career in rap, much to his mother’s dismay. She did let him go after his dreams but gave Smith only one year to prove that it was the right call.
He started rapping at the age of 12. He performed on parties and was known as The Fresh Prince which he based on his high school moniker “Prince Charming”. He formed a rap duo with his friend Jeff Townes, named DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, and released curse-free songs that moved away from the growing gangsta rap population. One of their singles in 1988 “Parents Just Don’t Understand” earned them a Grammy award and most of their other songs ranked in Billboard charts. He finally managed to prove to his mother that he was going to be successful as a rapper. Smith even gave her a 300E Mercedes from the earnings he got from his records.
The young Smith was making millions by that time. However his overspending and neglect of tax payment ended up with him neck-deep in debt. The IRS took his belongings and slapped him with millions of dollars that he needed to pay.
His growing popularity and success attracted NBC which then led to the inception of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show was incredibly successful and Smith managed to pay off his debt after three years of the IRS taking 70% from every paycheck. Smith was initially ambivalent towards the idea of starring in a sitcom as he feared it would end his rap career. But instead it led him to better opportunities like Bad Boys, Independence Day, and Men in Black which cemented Smith’s name as a star. On the side he released his debut solo rap album Big Willie Style and was followed by three more albums.
From portraying famous persons in biopics like Ali and The Pursuit of Happynesss (where his eight-year-old son Jaden co-starred) to an alien-fighting agent in the three Men in Black movies, and as an alcoholic superhero in Hancock, Smith proved his acting prowess through different roles. The father-and-son duo starred again later in the science-fiction film After Earth which was based from an idea conceptualized by Smith himself. Throughout his career Smith managed to bag 45 awards and rack up more than 80 nominations.
He is set to appear on the 2016 superhero movie Suicide Squad, drama film Collateral Beauty, and on the upcoming third installment of Bad Boys.
Smith makes a lot of money in music and film and he engages in different investments and ventures to add more to his wealth. First he and his brother Harry started Treyball Development Inc., a real estate agency. He co-founded Overbrook Entertainment with his business partner James Lassiter. Many of Smith’s films were produced by this company. Overbrook Entertainment also made investments in different companies like Loom, JibJab, and PluggedIn.
Smith himself made personal investments in different companies like Stance, The Fancy, Chromatik, Julep, and BioBeats. He teamed up with his wife Jada and rapper Jay-Z in 2005 and invested in a beauty product line named Carol’s Daughter.
There were news floating around regarding Will and Jada obtaining major ownership of the basketball team Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately that was just an April Fool’s joke.
In 2008 Smith funded the now-defunct New Village Leadership Academy in California which attracted controversy due to their inclusion of Scientology members as part of the staff.
Will Smith Personal Life & FAQ’s
Is Will Smith married?
Yes, twice. In 1992 he married Sheree Zampino but divorced later in 1995. She was the mother of Trey Smith. Their divorce equaled to a $900,000 settlement in lump sum with $24,000 in child support with alimony for Zampino.
In 1997 he married Jada Koren Pinkett who was the mother of Jaden and Willow Smith.
Will Smith Salary & Annual Earnings in 2015
Smith raked in $35 million in earnings last year. It was an improvement compared to his $32 million in 2014. His take-home pay per movie is reported to never go lower than $20 million.
Will Smith’s House
Smith owns a mansion in Calabasas, California. It spans 25,000 square feet with basketball and volleyball courts, equestrian facilities, and its aesthetics are inspired by Moroccan and Persian culture.
Will Smith charity, donations and philanthropy
Smith and his wife Jada founded the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. It supports racial equity, education, health, and startups. Their generosity earned them regular spots in the Giving Back Fund’s list of 30 largest celebrity charity donations. They backed up a startup called Quidnet Energy which focuses on creating more-efficient energy storage for carbon-free power. They also backed a non-profit organization called Village Capital, a non-profit organization that supports ventures that tackle global problems.
In 2004 the Foundation granted a $15,000 grant to PACT, a charity that helps kids with special needs. The funds were used to support therapists in organizing group sessions to help children with disabilities and multiple disorders.
The couple in 2011 raised funds through the Jada & Will Birthday Contest. The proceeds all went to the efforts in support of the group charity: water in their campaign to provide clean water to Ethiopian villages. Smith and his wife, together with fellow supporters from Authentic Jobs and The Smile Generation, personally went to Ethiopia and witnessed as hundreds of villagers were finally given access to potable water.
In the same year the Foundation donated 29 laptops to a high school in Will Smith’s hometown of West Philadelphia after learning that the computers in the institution were stolen by students.
Smith supports a long list of charities including 46664, Dream Foundation, Feeding America, Living Classrooms Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, and Youth Health Empowerment to name a few.
He donated to different beneficiaries including Christian ministries, a mosque in Los Angeles, and a variety of arts and civic groups. Smith and his wife also donated $150,000 to the “Justice or Else!” movement which stirred up false rumors that the couple actually gave money to a hate group.
Will Smith Accomplishments
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince was the first ever recipient of the Best Rap Performance Grammy Award in 1999. He also took home four awards during the 2000 World Music Awards and is the undisputed holder of the most trophies (ten) in the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
He was given the honor of leaving behind handprints and footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on December 10, 2007. In the same year he was crowned by Newsweek as Hollywood’s most powerful actor.
Smith was included in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records for attending three premieres of his movie Hitch in a single day. This was trumped by Daniel Brühl and Jürgen Vogel in 2006 when they attended four premieres of A Friend of Mine.
Smith is the only actor to have 11 consecutive films earn more than $150 million worldwide, and over $100 million for his eight consecutive films domestically. He is also ranked as the only actor with eight consecutive films that opened at number one in the box office.