From an early age Willow Smith, often professionally credited simply as Willow, attempted to follow in the creative footpaths of her celebrity parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Born October 31, 2000 in Los Angeles, California, Smith made her first film appearance in 2007 in her father’s film I Am Legend, and followed that up as a voice alongside her mother in the animated feature Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. At the age of 9 she signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and issued her first single, the poppy dance tune “Whip My Hair”. The hit song reached number 11 on the Hot 100 and an accompanying video garnered over 2 million views. The song won her a YoungStar award at the BET Awards that she shared with her older brother, Jaden. Her debut album, Ardipithecus, arrived in 2005 with a selection of songs that she wrote and produced herself, and a less overtly pop sound than her famous single. She again produced and wrote most of the material on her follow-up, 2007’s The 1st. 2009’s Willow featured a duet with her brother Jaden, “U Know”. She teamed with rapper and Roc Nation labelmate Tyler Cole for the 2020 album The Anxiety.

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