Willow Camille Reign Smith (born October 31, 2000), known professionally as Willow, is an American singer, actress and dancer.
She is the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, the younger sister of Jaden Smith and the half-sister of Willard Carroll "Trey" Smith III. Smith made her acting debut in 2007 in the film I Am Legend and later appeared in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl alongside Abigail Breslin. She received a Young Artist Award for her performance.
Smith launched her music career in the autumn of 2010 with the release of the singles "Whip My Hair" and "21st Century Girl", and signed to her current mentor Jay-Z's record label Roc Nation, becoming the youngest artist signed to the label. "Whip My Hair" peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video was nominated for Video of the Year at the BET Awards of 2011. She released her debut album, ARDIPITHECUS, on December 11, 2015. Willow released an album titled The 1st on October 31st of 2017 on Roc Nation.
Smith was born October 31, 2000 in Los Angeles the daughter of musician-actor Will Smith and actress-musician Jada Pinkett Smith. She has an older half-brother, Trey Smith and an older brother, Jaden Smith; who is also an actor and musician. Smith and her brothers are youth ambassadors for Project Zambi, which, in conjunction with Hasbro, provides assistance for Zambian children orphaned by AIDS.
2007–13: Acting and music endeavors
Smith made her acting debut in I Am Legend alongside her father. Her next film, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, was released on July 2, 2008. In 2008, she voiced the character of young Gloria in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, alongside her mother as older Gloria.
In June 2010, 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. In the UK the single peaked at number two. 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 remake of the famous comic strip Little Orphan Annie starring Smith in the title role. Jay-Z is also in talks to provide the music for the film and possibly create brand new songs. However, Smith was considered too old and the title role was given to Quvenzhané Wallis in February 2013.
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 they 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. 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)", saying that it was her "first video ever". 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.
Knees and Elbows has still not been released and has most likely been abandoned and scrapped. 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 British accent she incorporates. 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."
2014–present: New image, 3 EP and ARDIPITHECUS
It was announced on October 24, 2014 by Smith and FADER that she 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 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 including "8" and 9 with SZA. She also performed "5" with her brother, "Summer Fling", and a new rendition of her famous hit, "Whip My Hair".
Smith released a new single titled "F Q-C #7" on May 7, 2015. An accompanying music video was released the same day on Vevo. After release, on September, a video to the track "Why Don't You Cry" on i-D, Willow surprise-released her first album, ARDIPITHECUS, on December 11. About her debut's title album, Willow said "Ardipithecus Ramidus 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."
Extended Plays (EP)
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|"Whip My Hair"||2010||11||5||18||69||18||9||44||11||35||2||Non-album singles|
|"21st Century Girl"||2011||99||—||—||—||—||—||—||36||—||91|
(featuring Nicki Minaj)
|"I Am Me"||2012||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"F Q-C #7"||2015||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Why Don't You Cry"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||ARDIPITHECUS|
|"F Q-C #8"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.|
|"Find You Somewhere"|
(Jaden Smith featuring AcE & Willow Smith)
|2012||The Cool Cafe: Cool Tape Vol. 1|
|2010||"Whip My Hair"||Ray Kay|
|2011||"21st Century Girl"||Rich Lee|
|2012||"Do It Like Me (Rockstar)"||Willow Smith|
|"I Am Me"||Mike Vargas|
|"Find You Somewhere" (Jaden Smith featuring AcE & Willow Smith)||Jada|
|2013||"Summer Fling"||Willow Smith & Mike Vargas|
|2015||"F Q-C #7"|
|"Wit A Indigo"||Ben Tan|
|"Why Don't You Cry"||Mike Vargas|
|2007||I Am Legend||Marley Neville|
|2008||Kit Kittredge: An American Girl||Countee Garby|
|Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa||Baby Gloria||Voice|
|2009||Merry Madagascar||Abby||Voice / TV movie|
|2009–10||True Jackson, VP||Young True||2 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|2008||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a Feature Film (Young Actress Age Ten or Younger)||I Am Legend||Nominated|
|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||Herself||Won|
|Outstanding Music Video||"Whip My Hair"||Nominated|
|BET Awards||Video of the Year||Nominated|
|Best New Artist||Nominated|
|YoungStar Award||Won (Tied with Jaden Smith)|
|2014||VEVOCertifiedAwards||100,000,000 views||"Whip My Hair"||Won|