Will Smith Reboots Music Career, Performs New Song at 2024 BET Awards


GettyImages-2159466442 Will Smith

Will Smith at the 2024 BET Awards
Michael TRAN / AFP

He’s no longer the Fresh Prince but Will Smith is back behind the mic.

Smith, 55, performed his new song, “You Can Make It,” at the BET Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, 30 June. It followed the song’s official release on Friday, June 28.

Immersed in a theatrical burning fire pit, Smith kicked off the performance by telling the crowd, “I don’t know who needs to hear this right now but whatever’s going on in your life, I’m here to tell you, you can make it,” which flowed into the Bad Boys: Ride or Die actor’s new track.

The song is Smith’s first since 2017’s “Get Lit,” which was released more than 10 years after his last studio album, Lost and Found, from 2005.

Halle Bailey

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The lyrics of “You Can’t Make It” read, “Don’t give up on me, I need you to hold on / Know you’re deep up in the storm / But I know you can face it.”

The song also includes the lyrics, “The darker the hell you gotta endure / The brighter the heaven you get to enjoy / The harder the fall, the higher you soar / God opens a window when the devil closes the door / Believe me, they tried to bleed Will Smith / In the rear view I see adversity was the gift.”

Three days prior to Smith’s BET performance, the star posted a video of himself playing his tune on the piano via Instagram. “Through some of my darkest moments, music has always been there for me – to lift me and help me grow,” Smith captioned the video. “It’s my humble wish that it can do the same for you and bring you all the joy and light you deserve.”

The actor was joined on stage at the BET Awards by Kirk Franklin, Chandler Moore and the Sunday Service choir as the performance moved through an onstage rainstorm.

Smith’s musical career has scored him global acclaim in the past, earning him four Grammy awards over the years. In 1988, he and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s hit single “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” which featured in films including The Parent Trap and Jersey Girl, won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance.

Smith’s foray behind the mic comes as his film career soars, with Bad Boys: Ride or Die opening to a successful $56.5 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, at the domestic Box Office on June 5.

The film features Smith being repeatedly slapped by Martin Lawrence’s character while experiencing a panic attack, which some have interpreted as a nod to Smith hitting Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Oscars.

Although the infamous incident was met with criticism, Bad Boys producer Jerry Bruckheimer said later that year, during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, that he would “absolutely” work with Smith on another film, .

“Will made a mistake, unfortunately,” Bruckheimer, 80, said in the interview. “That’s not who he is. He’s a phenomenal actor and there’s always forgiveness in the world.”





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